I could honestly eat eggplant everyday. There is just something comforting about a simple baked eggplant dish that gets me every time.
Maybe it’s because it takes only 5 minutes to prep before tossing into the oven. Or maybe it’s because it makes a perfect side dish to any meal- whether you are pairing it with grilled chicken, tofu, fish or even eggs- this dish is sure to fill you up and keep you satisfied.
I don’t know about you but to me eggplant is soothing. I think it stems from my childhood growing up in an Italian family where my Pop-Pop taught me how to make his famous eggplant parm. I loved helping him make this special dish but could never enjoy the cheese or spicy sauce he made.
Fast forward 20 years and here I am creating my own version of a simple baked eggplant parm- no grains- no breadcrumbs- no cheese- no canned tomato sauce- no additives.
Just a nice ol’ purple eggplant, some fresh greens and herbs along with my favorite tomato sauce- Pomi- it’s that odd looking tomato sauce that is from Italy…it’s in a cardboard box and the ingredients are simply: Tomatoes. Just how I like it. When a food has one ingredient and it’s a veggie- you surely can’t go wrong, can you?
I don’t think so, at least.
So, here you have it. My very own spin on the classic eggplant parm- don’t go looking for any cheese or grains in the below recipe because they aren’t there- but if you want ‘em go ahead and toss them in or try some nutritional yeast combined with warm water and vinegar for a cheesy taste without the dairy.
The Dijon mustard adds a nice kick to this dish along with the freshly ground black pepper- without them- it’s a bit bland (I like it bland and simple) but there is something about a good Dijon mustard that I just simply cannot pass up. I think I’m a Dijon connoisseur. Do I have 5 kinds in my fridge? Maybe. Hehe…it’s just perfect to add a spark to marinades, dressings and veggie dishes without having to purchase the store-bought pre-made ones that are chock full of a lotta odd ingredients that I’m not a fan of.
So, pull up your big girl pants- slice up your eggplant and make this dish tnite. I know you’ll enjoy it- just be sure to have some Dijon on hand for that extra kick of flavor. And if you need something else added- why not try some balsamic vinegar?
Here’s your perfect Monday night dinner- I know you’re eyeing that eggplant in the food store. Go ahead, buy it, make it and enjoy it.
Then let me know what you think…
I’ll be waiting to hear from you.
Simple Baked Eggplant
Gluten-Free and Vegan
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup Pomi strained tomatoes, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh arugula
- 2 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup ground cashews
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Slice eggplant in half. Then, slice each half into 1/4 inch slices.
- Place eggplant in prepared baking dish in a single layer.
- Spritz eggplant slices with olive oil; sprinkle with sea salt. Drizzle strained tomatoes atop eggplant along with arugula, dill, ground cashews and Dijon.
- Transfer to the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven; set aside to cool.
- Serve with more strained tomatoes , if desired.