These savory roasted eggplant cutlets are rich with Levantine flavors: curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and ginger. A small handful of raisins add contrasting texture and sweetness while the simple sauce is a variation of regional red mojo sauce. In combination with the eggplant and curried textured vegetable protein, the flavor is outstanding. You'll find that this is a meal worthy of serving to all guests.

Stuffed Eggplant Cutlets in Red Pepper Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

For the Sauce:

  • 1 16-ounce jar roasted red pepper strips
  • About 1 cup day-old bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A generous splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Stuffing:

  • Olive oil, as needed for sautéeing
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 a medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP), rehydrated as directed on the package or lentils to make it soy-free
  • A handful of raisins, soaked in boiling water

For the Rest:

  • 1 medium eggplant, strips of peel removed and cut into 4 cutlets lengthwise
  • A handful of pine nuts, roasted
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish
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Preparation

To Prep the Ingredients:

  1. Rehydrate the TVP then prepare the raisins and pine nuts.
  2. Measure the TVP and add water as directed on the package. Let sit while you do the rest.
  3. Cover the raisins with boiling water and allow to soak while the eggplant cutlets are prepared.
  4. Dry roast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant and just starting to change color. Be careful not to burn them, it can happen quickly.

To Make the Sauce:

  1. Use a stick blender or food processor to purée the roasted red peppers.
  2. Add enough bread and oil to give it your desired consistency.
  3. Season with the vinegar, salt, and pepper.

To Make the Eggplant Cutlets:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Brush or spray the eggplant cutlets with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for about 30 minutes or until softened and nicely browned.
  4. Make the stuffing while the eggplant is roasting.

To Make the Stuffing:

  1. In a medium skillet, steam/sauté the onions and a pinch of red pepper flake until tender and beginning to change color.
  2. Stir in the spices and cook briefly.
  3. Add the TVP and heat until the moisture has been cooked out.
  4. Drain the raisins and add them to the mix.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

To Assemble:

  1. Transfer the red pepper sauce to a saucepan to gently heat it up. Taste and adjust the seasonings after it has been warmed.
  2. Ladle a small amount onto each serving plate, then top with one of the eggplant cutlets.
  3. Layer the filling onto of the eggplant, then add more sauce.
  4. Garnish with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts.
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