This recipe takes a bit of time, but it is so worth it! Plan it for a lazy Sunday dinner and you will not be disappointed. The sauce is actually quite easy to throw together. I wanted an quicker version of my Meat Sauce recipe, so I used some of the stronger flavors from that recipe and made a much simpler version. Get the sauce going and let it simmer while you tackle the eggplant slices.
The inspiration for this dish is eggplant parmesan. Since I no longer do gluten, breading is out. Off the cheese, so no mozzarella or parmesan. And I really like sausage, so that had to make an appearance.
To make this dish easy and low stress, prep everything before you get started! If you are not familiar with a breading station, I’m about to give you the low down. You will need 3 wide shallow dishes (like a flatter style bowl). I have breading station dishes from Pampered Chef, but whatever you already have in your kitchen will work just fine. The key to excellent tasting breading is layering. You want a flour type layer first, then an eggy liquid, then your breading of choice. I use this method all the time and it is no fail! (Check out my Coconut Fish Sticks for another example.) The other key is to pat dry the item you are about to coat in the three layers of breading. In this recipe we are breading and frying eggplant slices. They are already pretty dry, so you are good to go. If you were to try this method with a protein, I would recommend patting it dry with some paper towels before you start. Once the item is dry, dredge (AKA coat) it in the flour mixture. Tap it lightly to remove any excess flour. Next dip it in the egg, making sure it is completely covered. Finally, drop it into the breading mixture and gently press the breading onto it. Once again, shake it lightly to remove any excess and set it on a platter while you finish breading your other pieces. I find that letting the breaded pieces sit for 15 minutes or so lets everything set up and it fries a lot nicer.
Okay, ready to make dinner? Let’s go!
Sausage and Eggplant Stacks
Ingredients (for the sauce):
- 1 Tablespoon fat of your choice (I recommend ghee or lard for this application)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large sweet yellow onion, diced
- 2 pounds of pastured pork sausage, crumbled, browned, and drained of excess fat and liquid
- 28 ounce can of pureed organic tomatoes
- 6 ounce can of organic tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons Italian Herb Blend
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Ingredients (for the breaded eggplant slices):
- 1 large eggplant, sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 Tablespoon Italian Herb Blend
- Fat of choice for frying
What to do:
Start by preparing the sauce. In a large sauce pan or stockpot, melt the fat and saute the garlic and onions for 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (sausage through basil) to the pot and stir well to combine. Cover and turn the heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer while you prepare the eggplant slice. Stir occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Set up your breading station as described above. In the first dish mix the coconut flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Put the eggs in the second dish. In the third, stir together the almond flour, Italian herbs, and the other 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Prepare the eggplant slices per the above breading instructions. In a large frying pan, melt your fat over medium heat. You will need a few Tablespoons and will likely need to add more as you continue frying the eggplant. Once the fat is hot, add the slices in a single layer and do not crowd them. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly golden. Place the slices on a tray in the preheated oven and continue frying in batches.
One all the eggplant slices have been fried, it’s time to eat. You can make it look pretty by layering a few slices of fried eggplant and then topping with the sauce and some fresh basil.
This recipe was shared at Savoring Saturdays.