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]
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
To Prep the Ingredients:
- Rehydrate the TVP then prepare the raisins and pine nuts.
- Measure the TVP and add water as directed on the package. Let sit while you do the rest.
- Cover the raisins with boiling water and allow to soak while the eggplant cutlets are prepared.
- 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:
- Use a stick blender or food processor to purée the roasted red peppers.
- Add enough bread and oil to give it your desired consistency.
- Season with the vinegar, salt, and pepper.
To Make the Eggplant Cutlets:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Brush or spray the eggplant cutlets with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Roast for about 30 minutes or until softened and nicely browned.
- Make the stuffing while the eggplant is roasting.
To Make the Stuffing:
- In a medium skillet, steam/sauté the onions and a pinch of red pepper flake until tender and beginning to change color.
- Stir in the spices and cook briefly.
- Add the TVP and heat until the moisture has been cooked out.
- Drain the raisins and add them to the mix.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Transfer the red pepper sauce to a saucepan to gently heat it up. Taste and adjust the seasonings after it has been warmed.
- Ladle a small amount onto each serving plate, then top with one of the eggplant cutlets.
- Layer the filling onto of the eggplant, then add more sauce.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts.