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Christmas, Hanukkah

Rustic Roasted Eggplant Puttanesca

Rustic Roasted Eggplant Puttanesca crop2by Alisa Fleming

Roasting tomatoes adds so much depth of flavor that anchovies aren’t missed in this thick and satisfying puree.

Makes: 6 servings
Free of: gluten and all top allergens

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs cherry, grape or sugar plum tomatoes
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp + 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp salt, divided + additional to taste
  • 1 cup (250 mL) soy-free, vegan mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 1/2 cups (600 mL) gluten-free panko (see notes below) or dry bread crumbs*
  • 2  1 lb eggplants (optionally peeled) , sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds*
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley + extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) pitted chopped Kalamata olives + extra pitted olives for garnish
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) capers
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Place tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet with high sides. drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to coat. Bake 30-40 minutes, until quite soft, bursting and starting to brown. Let cool 10 minutes. Leave oven on.
  3. While tomatoes roast, whisk mayonnaise and water in a shallow bowl. Combine panko and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a separate shallow bowl. One at a time, dip eggplant slices in mayo mixture to coat, and then dredge in crumbs, pressing crumbs on as needed. Place in a single layer on baking sheets.
  4. When tomatoes are done, bake eggplant 15 minutes. Carefully flip each slice and bake 15 minutes more.
  5. While eggplant roasts, place cooled tomatoes and garlic (with juices) in a blender and pulse several times, until  mostly pureed but still slightly chunky.
  6. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 cup parsley, 1/2 cup olives, capers, oregano and red pepper and saute 2-3 minutes. Add tomato-garlic puree and simmer 5-10 minutes, until desire thickness. Add salt to taste.
  7. Serve eggplant slices topped with sauce and garnish with fresh parsley and whole olives.

Notes

* To make panko-style crumbs, preheat oven to 300° F., spread gluten-free bread crumbs on a baking sheet and bake 7 minutes, or until lightly browned.

* If the eggplants aren’t very fresh, salting and draining can improve taste and moisture content. Prior to coating, sprinkle slices generously with salt and set on tea towels 30-60 minutes. Rinse to remove excess salt, and pat dry.

Alisa Fleming is a contributing editor to Allergic Living magazine and the author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein Free Living, and founder of  Godairyfree.org.

Photography: Chris Gonzaga

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