A monthly experiment.

Alright so this one isn’t Vegan, but it’s the end of the month and I decided to add a bit of ovo-lacto into the mix, but just a bit. I did some breaded baked eggplant with a white bean topping. It came out really nice, crispy and soft at the same time. It is one of the reasons I love Panko bread crumbs so much. If someone knows a vegan way of getting the breadcrumbs to stick like eggs/milk let me know, I will switch to it.

Ingredients

  • 1 Japanese eggplant
  • 1 bag panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups whole milk (so weird to be using milk again)
  • 2 eggs (ditto for eggs. I haven’t cracked an egg in a month)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 can great white northern beans
  • Dried mushrooms (I used lobster, porcini, morel and chanterelles)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small white onion
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 400. Add the dried mushrooms to hot water and cover and set aside.

Tip: Use a small bowl for the mushrooms and just enough water for them to float, like a small cereal bowl. We want to use that water as our liquid later since it becomes wonderful mushroom broth.

Take some plates and put the flour on one plate, some breadcrumbs on the other and in a large bowl mix the milk and the eggs together.  Now to prep the eggplant cut off the tips, cut it in half and shave off the peel on 2 sides. We just want a flat side to bread, but don’t waste too much of it. Press each side of the eggplant down into the flour, give it a nice bath in the egg wash and then into the panko. Get a lot of bread crumbs on it, I mush in as many as possible. Lay them out on the sheet pan and pop them into the oven.

While those are baking drain and rinse the northern beans, dice the onion and mince the garlic. In a pan heat up some olive oil and toss in the onions and a bit of salt. When they are translucent add the garlic. When it is light golden add the beans and stir through. While the beans are heating up remove the leaves from the herbs and chop them up roughly. Add the herbs in and stir through. Now remove the mushrooms from the water, squeeze as much water as you can back into the bowl they were in. Chop them roughly and toss into the pan. Once everything is heated through and the beans begin to break down a bit, go ahead and add the reserved mushroom liquid (make sure no grit gets in) and simmer this mixture until it’s all reduced down. Smash some of the beans during stirring to get a nice thick sauce holding everything together. Salt and pepper to taste, you can also add some vinegar at this point to brighten things up, I would recommend using nice light white wine vinegar. At the last second chop some fresh Italian flat leaf parsley roughly and stir through.

Let’s turn our attention back to the eggplant. At this point it should have been around 20 minutes and the eggplant is done inside, we just need golden crispy outside. I switched to my broiler at this point, opened the oven door and drizzled some olive oil over my planks. With the door cracked open I watched them toast in less than 3 minutes, then I flipped them and did the same process.

Once they were golden brown and delicious I took them out, plated one with a nice mound of the beans and drizzled with olive oil. Enjoy!

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