Sometimes you want to show off. After all, vegan food isn’t just health food for granola types. It is an elegant celebration of all the Earth’s bounty. When you need a recipe to prove to your friends and family that vegans can be totally high rent, pull this one from the archives…
Two large or several small eggplants
1 recipe vegan “feta” (recipe follows)
smoked paprika, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste
dried oregano, to taste
Trim the ends of the eggplant and cut it into 1/3 inch thin slices. Spread the slices in a single layer on a large cookie sheet or casserole dish. Sprinkle salt liberally over both sides of the eggplant, rub it in gently and cover with layers of paper towels. Set aside eggplant discs to sweat for about one hour. When it’s ready, the paper towels will be very moist.
In the meantime, prepare the vegan “feta.”
After the eggplant has sweat, pre-heat broiler and pan-sear the eggplant discs in a pan with olive oil until slightly brown and crisp.
Spread pan-seared eggplant back onto cookie sheet/casserole dish and top with about a teaspoon each of vegan “feta” and sprinkle with smoked paprika, red pepper flakes and dried oregano to taste. The red of the paprika and red pepper flakes will look gorgeous when this is all done!
Broil for 2 to 5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Serve warm.
Recipe inspired by a 2003 AP photo from the cookbook “Meze” by Diane Kochilas
Vegan “Feta” Cheese
There are lots of recipes around for vegan “feta cheese.” This is our favorite and was found on a groovy website called The Happy Herbivore. We don’t think it can be improved upon, however, we can tell you for sure – if you can make if the day before and let the flavors really soak into the tofu, the eggplant crisps will be even more delicious & savory.
1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained
2 Tbls. water
4 tsp. white miso paste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbls. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. basil, dried
1 tsp. oregano or majoram, dried
1/4 tsp. rosemary, dried
1 Tbls. nutritional yeast
Break tofu into a few large pieces in a mixing bowl and set aside. Whisk all remaining ingredients except nutritional yeast together. Pour over tofu and mix with your hands, crumbling the tofu into smaller pieces as you go. Set aside and let rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle 1 Tbl. of nutritional yeast over top and mix. Add more nutritional yeast if desired.