The other day it was time to try an old classic but to me new exciting dish! I Have always been fan of Italian food since their cuisine is so intriguing, filled with slow cooked tomato sauces, fresh herbs, golden drops of olive oil and oh ooh the fabulous spaghetti, pasta, bread etc. Since I’m going grain free here it can be a challenge to enjoy the classic Italian cuisine, but no rule without an exception – and I pretty much think I found a glorious exception here.
Melanzane alla parmigiana aka aubergine and pamesan. Just hearing these words I am in love. I love aubergine and I possible love parmesan even more. This recipe might be confused with moussaka – but here we are enjoying a vegetarian kind of moussaka layered with parmesan instead of béchamel sauce.
If you by now are confused with all the talk of classic cheesy melanzane alla parmigiana and the pictures in this post, it is time to explain how I ended up interpreting my meeting with Mr. Italy. I of course loved the classic version, but as I figured many of you already are familiar with this comfy and warming dish I thought the real fun would begin when I changes around a couple of things and made a new version.
I aimed at creating a dish that can be whipped up a bit faster than the classic, with a lighter and more crispy touch to it, so that it would be perfect for a lunch or even as a part of brunch. The aubergine slices are crunchy and gooey at the same time, and a bit heavy I might add, which makes them perfect layered with the fresh salsa. You can easily serve it with a dollop of cream fraiche and some warm tomato sauce if you want a more filling dinner.
Melanzane alla parmigiana di nuovo
Serves 4 for a light lunch
2 large aubergines
100 g finely grated parmesan
75 g almonds, finely chopped or even ground
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 large tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes
1 red onion
A handful fresh basil
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp capers (optional)
Fresh ground pepper
Slice aubergines lengthwise and rub coarse salt into them. Let them sit for 30-60 min. Rinse under cold water and pad them with a kitchen cloth.
Whisk eggs with salt and pepper in a deep plate. Mix parmesan, almond and garlic in a deep plate.
Heat coconut oil in a pan. Dip aubergine slices in the egg mix and let it drip of before coating it with the parmesan mixture. Place them one at a time in the hot skillet. Fry on both sides on medium heat until tender and golden.
Make the salsa by dicing avocado, tomatoes and onion in small cubes. Chop basil (save a couple of leaves for topping) and mix all of it. Add olive oil, lemon juice and a dash of pepper. Season to taste.
Arrange the dish by placing one aubergine slice in the bottom, then a layer of salsa, another aubergine slice and top it of with more salsa, fresh basil and maybe an additional sprinkle of parmesan. Serve straight away!