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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- 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.
- 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.
- When tomatoes are done, bake eggplant 15 minutes. Carefully flip each slice and bake 15 minutes more.
- While eggplant roasts, place cooled tomatoes and garlic (with juices) in a blender and pulse several times, until mostly pureed but still slightly chunky.
- 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.
- Serve eggplant slices topped with sauce and garnish with fresh parsley and whole olives.
* 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