Eggplant always scares me. There is something about knowing that the skin has a poisonous toxin that makes me want to skin it, bake it to oblivion, or avoid it altogether. Did you know the skin was poinsonous? I guess Joe didn’t know my feelings about eggplant, because I came home to this set of mystery ingredients.
Eggplant, tomatoes, green onions, and goat cheese. Joe tasked me with making eggplant parmesan, but with two catches. First, it had to be paleo (aside from the goat cheese). Second, I could make as many versions eggplant as I wanted in an attempt to get one crispier than the others. He gave me as much time as I needed for this challenge.
I immediately got the homemade sauce started. I chopped the tomatoes, minced garlic, oregano, basil, and green onions. I normally just use regular onions, but had to make use of the green onions Joe brought home. I actually really liked it! I plan to use green onions in my future pasta sauce recipes.
While the sauce simmered for two hours, I worked on the rest of the meal. I sliced the eggplant and started removing the water from it. I used a couple of steps to do this. First, I put it in a colander and salted it. I let it release water for about 30 minutes. Then, I layered paper towels on a cookie sheet, placed the eggplant in a single layer, and layerd more paper towels on top. I added weight to help squeeze the water out of the eggplant for another 30 minutes. What did I use for weight you might ask? I placed my handy dandy bread machine on top of the layers (special note: I love it, but this is only the second time I’ve used my bread machine. The other time I actually did make bread).
I prepared the egg wash and the coconut flour mixtures.
I decided to try 3 different versions of eggplant parmesan.
I brushed each slice with olive oil, dredged them in a mixture of coconut flour, parmesan cheese, onion powder, parsley, and black pepper. I baked this version at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
I dipped the slices in egg wash and dredged them in a mixture of coconut flour, onion powder, parsley, and black pepper (minus the parmesan from version one). I fried the slices in salt free butter.
I dipped the slices in egg wash, dredged them in the coconut flour, parmesan cheese, onion powder, parsley, and black pepper (we’ve got paremesan back!) and fried it in coconut oil.
Version Three (pictured on the left above) was my personl favorite. The crust was crispier, tasted better, and even looked better than the rest. I passed the challenge in terms of making a tasty meal that was (almost) paleo, but none of the slices really got crispy beyond the crust.This tasty meal still doesn’t change my mind about the potentially treacherous eggplant skin.