Last evening I was up at my friend's farm in Kula. They had just harvested egg plant, broccoli, green beans and peppers. My friend, Marta, is a creative genius in the kitchen. She always has her master artistic hat on as she steps into a well stocked pantry loaded with the best and healthiest organic ingredients. Seriously, this dish even provided the perfect pupu before we dove into the main meal.
Here is how it starts:
Ingredients for a large serving (use less for smaller servings):
Small bowl (1 cup) of coconut oil - softened to a liquid state.
1 & 1/2 cups almond meal
1 & 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1 jar organic pasta sauce of your choice
Mozzarella cheese for topping
Combine the almond meal and Parmesan cheese into a bowl and fluff together to make a mixture to coat the egg plant rounds with.
Begin by dipping each egg plant round, one at a time, into the Coconut Oil. Coat each one thoroughly.
Then coat each coconut dipped round with the almond meal and Parmesan cheese mixture. After each piece is covered with the mixture, place it on a cookie sheet, hotel pan or a casserole dish (at least one inch deep).
When they are all assembled on the cookie sheet (one layer), bake in an 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until they are golden brown. See the picture below for those that we left in the oven longer to get extra crispy, providing us a lite pupu while we waited for the meal to be complete.
This picture is of the rounds that we baked a longer (about 30 minutes) allowing them to get dry and crispy. Seriously, we could have stopped here. These were amazing. Topped with fresh chopped parsley, these make a great hor'dourve or pupu.
When the rounds are golden brown (sooner than those left in longer to get crispy), remove them from the oven and pour the red sauce all over them and then top with Mozzarella cheese.
Put the tray or dish back into the oven and bake for another 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly. The Mozzarella should be melted.
While the main dish is cooking, wash, chop and cook vegetables of choice. In the picture above we have broccoli, string beans and some fresh peppers. We sauteed them in a little coconut oil for about 10 minutes. Usually a teaspoon or two will do depending of how many vegetables you are cooking at once. The taste is altered negatively if you use too much. After they have cooked for several minutes, stirring often, add a little water to let them steam up and soften. Total cooking time about 15 minutes.
What a great meal!