Vegan Aubergine Parmigiana Timbales with Pesto
My love affair with aubergines never ends.
This is my revisited version of what is perhaps the most representative dish of Sicily - parmigiana di melanzane.
I made these single-portion timbales with a few little twists: I didn’t use any cheese and cooked on the stovetop using a pastry ring to give it a nice round shape. I also incorporated a layer of my homemade vegan pesto, which just blends perfectly in with the other layers.
I’ll be posting a step-by-step to show you how I assembled it in my Stories. Give it a try!
Aubergine - 2 large
Tomato sauce - 250g
Pesto - 100g
Breadcrumbs - 100g, finely ground (if you only have the panko type, grind them finely in a blender) toasted
Sunflower oil - enough to fry the aubergines
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Slice the aubergines lengthwise and place them in a colander with salt. Press them by placing a weight on top and rest for 1 hour. This will help release theit bitter juice. Rinse in water and pat dry.
Heat the sunflower oil and deep fry the aubergines in small batches. Drain excess oil on kitchen paper. A trick I’ve seen used back home is to place them in a colander and drain the excess oil overnight in the fridge. This will make them a lot less oily and digestible. It’s optional, but I did it.
Make the tomato sauce by heating up some olive oil in a pan and adding pureed or chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, fresh basil, salt and optionally sugar. Cook on low, covered for 30-40 minutes.
Make the pesto by grinding together a large bunch of fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt.
Toast the breadcrumbs in a pan until the turn golden brown and crunchy.
Now to assemble: Arrange one layer of fried aubergines at the bottom. Top with one layer of tomato sauce, one layer of breadcrumbs, one layer of pesto - in this order. Repeat starting from the aubergines again. You should have at least 3 layers.
Cook on stovetop for 2-3 minutes on medium-high. Then flip and repeat on the other side. Or place under the oven grill at the highest temperature for 2 minutes to brown the top. Serve immediately or at room temperature.