This is a favorite recipe that’s very popular during the summer months in the Balkans. It is traditionally made by frying the eggplant pieces and serving them with the sauce on the side. This version is more of a skillet dish, with layers of eggplant smothered in tomato garlic sauce, and lots of tofu feta cheese right before serving.
Eggplants in Tomato Garlic Sauce [Vegan, Grain-Free]
For the Eggplants:
- 2 eggplants
- 3-4 cups of homemade tomato garlic sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- A handful of parsley
- 5.3 ounces vegan feta cheese (optional)
For the Tomato Garlic Sauce:
- 2 pounds San Marzano or Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons more
- 3-4 crushed garlic cloves
- Salt, to taste
To Make the Tomato Garlic Sauce:
- Note: this sauce can be made in advance.
- Cut tomatoes in halves and pulse a few times in a food processor to get a chunky sauce consistency.
- Place in a pot with 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt, and turn to boil. Reduce heat and cook until the sauce thickens, while stirring occasionally (about 30-40 minutes).
- When almost all the moisture evaporates, and the sauce begins to slightly stick to the bottom, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook a few more minutes.
- Turn the heat off, and add the crushed garlic cloves, plus more salt.
- Meanwhile, cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices — about 7-8 pieces from each eggplant. Brush both sides of each piece with olive oil and salt. Use all the 1/2 cup oil for both eggplants.
- Place slices on a baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil and roast at 450°F for 25-30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove foil and roast for additional 5-10 minutes until a nice golden crust forms.
To Assemble the Dish:
- In a skillet, or baking dish, start alternating layers of tomato sauce and eggplants, until you finish them.
- Put in the oven for 5-10 more minutes.
- Cool to a room temperature, sprinkle with fresh parsley, and serve with lots of vegan feta and a good crusty bread.