Italian eggplant bake with cashew parmesan

SONY DSCFirst let me say that since discovering cashew parmesan my life as changed forever. It’s probably not amazingly similar to dairy cheese, but it does have a really (not-gross) cheesy flavour! It’s so delicious as it’s own cool thing anyway. I LOVE IT. And it literally takes 5 minutes to make.

I keep a jar in my fridge to sprinkle on pizza or pasta, or on anything savoury! I discovered cashew parmesan on Minamilist Baker’s blog.

Anyway, my mum made this the other night for a good ol’ family dinner, and it was so good I thought I’d share it with the world! The recipe is adapted from a ripped out page of a magazine I don’t know the name of. But the ingredients are really simple and yum! You can either make your own sauce like in the recipe, or just use a store bought tomato sauce, then you can get around to eating it a lot faster 😉

Ingredients:
5 eggplants, sliced lengthways 6mm thick
Spelt flour (or a gluten free flour) for dusting
Olive oil to pan fry
About 1 cup cashew parmesan (you can get the recipe here)
2 cups basil leaves (save the stalks to use in the sauce)

Sauce:
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
600g fresh tomatoes
400g can of tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped oregano

Place eggplant in a large bowl. Add 2 teaspoons salt, toss to coast and set aside to drain (about 20 minutes).

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a fry pan over a high heat, add the onion and stir until its starts to soften and caramalise, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute.
Add the fresh and canned tomatoes, oregano and basil stalks.
Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally until the tomatoes are soft (about 30 minutes).
Remove the basil stalks and transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
For the eggplant, lightly dust the slices in flour and pan fry in batches for 2-4 minutes until golden.

To assemble:
Preheat oven to 180C.
Spoon some sauce into a baking dish (15x25cm).
Top with a layer of eggplant, sprinkle with cashew parmesan and chopped basil, then repeat until all the ingredients are used.
Top with a layer of sauce and extra cashew cheese.
Bake until golden and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with extra basil to serve.

We had this with green salad and baked potatoes! ♡ ☯ ☆

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