Our friend Priyanka Naik (Chef Priyanka) tapped into her Staten Island roots for this take on an Italian-American classic. Her Vegan Eggplant Parm recipe is comforting, simple, and completely made with plants. Finish it off with a handful of fresh, greenhouse-grown basil.
- 1 medium-sized Italian eggplant, split lengthwise in half
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 cup of your favorite jarred marinara
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 1 sprig Gotham Greens Basil, and extra for garnishing
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cooking spray / neutral oil
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Calabrian chili oil
- 4 slices vegan mozzarella
- 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
1. First, you’re going to need one medium or large non-stick skillet for this dish. Pour about 1 tbsp neutral oil into your pan and heat over medium high flame.
2. Meanwhile, score the meat of your eggplant in cross hatches. Make sure not to cut all the way through the skin.
3. Place meat side down into the hot skillet and cover with a lid.
After 3-4 minutes, open and check the meat side – if it’s getting very charred then lower your flame a bit, but if it’s getting golden brown you’re good.
Place back on the meat side and cover with lid. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so. Open and flip. the meat side should be fork tender.
While you have the skin side down, sprinkle a bit of kosher salt on the meat side. Cover with the lid. Cook another 4-5 minutes. At this point, eggplant should be very soft, fork tender, and cooked enough to be edible but not falling apart. Remove from pan.
4. Lower your flame slightly, then pour in olive oil and Calabrian chili oil. Once hot, add in your garlic. Sauté until it starts getting slightly golden. Then add in your sprig of oregano.
Once fragrant, pour in your sauce and add in your sprig of basil and water. Lower the flame a bit (should be no more than medium-low). Add in sugar, tomato paste, salt, black pepper, and chili flakes.
Mix until incorporated and smooth. Once the sauce starts bubbling, add eggplants meat side up.
Then cover the lid and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Put cheese slices on top of the eggplant and close the lid again.
5. While the cheese is melting, toast breadcrumbs in a separate pan – sprinkle in a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toast until golden brown and crispy. Turn off heat.
6. Lastly remove lid from eggplant and once cheese is fully melted, top with breadcrumbs, some fresh Gotham Greens Basil and remove from heat. Serve with crusty Italian bread!
Priyanka Naik is a vegan cook, global traveler, TV personality, and soon-to-author. She cooks Indian-inspired global cuisine. Her passions include animals, sustainability, and fashion. Priyanka is a Food Network champion and Quibi Dishmantled Winner! She is an Indian Cook making global inspired vegan recipes.
Check out Priyanka’s website for this Vegan Eggplant Parm, and other globally-inspired, veg-forward recipes!