Some people call them aubergines, others eggplants but in Italy they are known as melanzane.
This delicious vegetable can be cooked in a thousand different manners but today I’m going to share with you the vegan version of a very traditional recipe: melanzane impanate. This quick and delicious dish can be ready to eat in about 15 minutes.
(For two people)
2 medium size eggplants
1/2 cup of wheat flour
1/2 cup of chickpea flour or pea flour
some salt (ideally, sea salt)
Vegetable cooking oil
- Clean the eggplants by getting rid of the non edible top part.
- If they are very long, cut them in a half and then slice them vertically so that you can obtain a shape like the one in the photo. Ideally they should be about 1 cm thick.
- Spread the eggplant slices on a plate and sprinkle some salt all over them. Let them sit for about ten minutes (my mother lets them sit for much longer to get most of the water out of the vegetable but if you are in a hurry don’t bother too much about it).
- In a different plate or a big bowl if you prefer, put the chickpea flour and gradually add a little water while stirring with a fork. This is supposed to be an egg substitute so the consistency should be rather creamy but still liquid. Add a pinch of salt.
- Now, you need another plate for the wheat flour. Spread it around the plate uniformly.
- Prepare a non stick pan with a quarter of a cup of vegetable cooking oil in it and put it on low heat.
- Take one slice of eggplant, deep it in the egg substitute cream, then put it on the plate with wheat flour and turn it around. Do not press the wheat against the eggplant with your fingers, otherwise it will be too much. If you think that there is not enough flour attached to the eggplant, just turn it around another couple of times in the wheat flour.
- At this stage, the oil should be hot enough to start cooking. As soon as the eggplants are coated, gently place them in the pot and let them cook until their bottom color change into brown. Then, turn them around and cook the other side until crunchy.
- When the eggplants are ready, put them in a clean plate and wait another 5 minutes before eating them. The eggplant should be crunchy outside but soft and creamy inside.
This is a wonderful dish liked by almost everyone. Traditionally, the melanzane impanate used to be deep fried but if you use a non stick pan, you just need some oil for the crunch effect.
Melanzane impanate is a side dish but I eat it as a main dish together with brown rice and green vegetables to have a balanced meal!
Happy Vegan Day to all of you!