In a way, this is not your usual Elephantastic Vegan recipe, as it takes longer to make than most of the other recipes I post, on the other hand, this is exactly an Elephantastic Vegan recipe, as it’s made entirely from scratch – even the bread – especially the bread. I love making bread. I don’t think you have noticed that. So… now you know ;)
Initially I wanted to make this recipe for the Veginners Cookbook, on which I have been working on the last couple of months (just in case you’ve wondered what I’ve been up to). The concept of the cookbook is to provide simple, basic recipes that every new (and not so new) vegan NEEDS in his/her life. And while this Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich turned out AMAZING – it’s not cookbook material because it takes too long to be considered “simple and basic”. So lucky you, here’s a new recipe for you!
The eggplant slices breaded in breadcrumbs and lots of nutritional yeast are the heart of the recipe. The marinara sauce adds a fresh, creamy touch to it. The Cashew Parmesan adds even more cheesiness to the party. The fresh basil supports the whole mediterranean flair that combines the eggplant slices with the sandwich buns, which are homemade, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with even more basil. Yumm!
- 1 eggplant
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt + more for sprinkling the eggplant slices
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ cup tomato purée or passata
- salt, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder to taste
- 3 cups / 370g all-purpose flour
- 1 cup / 130g whole wheat flour (or use more all-purpose flour)
- 1 package / 7g active dry yeast
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil + more for brushing the top
- 1¼ cups / 300ml lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil
- Cashew Parmesan
- fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Add the flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle, add in the yeast and ¼ cup of the water. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, if the yeast gets bubbly, you can be sure it’s working.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients (salt, oil, and the rest of the water) and knead by hand until a soft dough firms or put all the ingredients in a kitchen machine and let the machine knead the dough.
- Let it sit, covered under a clean kitchen towel, in a warm spot until it doubles in size (about 1½-2 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 250°C or 480°F.
- Cut the dough in 6 equal pieces and form the sandwiches.
- Brush the surface with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped basil. Carve the surface of the dough lightly with a knife (I've made two long cut across each sandwich).
- Then put the bread in the oven and take it out when the surface is golden. You can knock on the bottom of the bread and when it sounds hollow it's done!
- Wash and slice the eggplant in equally thick slices - about ½ inch thick (=1.5 centimeter).
- Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt, put them on a clean kitchen towel, put another kitchen towel on top of them and put a few heavy books on them so they get pressed and lose some of their water. Let them rest for about 1-2 hours.
- In one bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, salt and water. In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, dried basil and dried oregano.
- Once the eggplant slices have softened a bit, dip them first in the flour-water-mixture, then in the breadcrumbs and put them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spray with oil and bake them in the oven for about half an hour, flipping them once after 20 minutes.
- For a nice golden color, add enough oil to a large pan so that the bottom is fully covered and pan-fry the eggplant slices over medium to high heat for a minute or so until brown.
- Heat the tomato purée and season with salt, dried basil, dried oregano and garlic powder. Use less if your tomato purée is already pre-seasoned.
- Place three eggplant parmesan slices into each sub, add marinara sauce, sprinkle with cashew parmesan and top with finely chopped basil. Enjoy!
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