I wanted to achieve a different taste sensation in each layer - the sweet tomato sauce, the meaty eggplant, the creamy mozzarella, a hit of hot peppery arugula''. I knew I was about to get a little piece of heaven when I saw the mozzarella come oozing out with my first cut. I was not disappointed when I shoveled a massive bite into my mouth, it was absolutely delicious, DELICIOUS.
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 14-oz can (400 g) whole tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
2 eggplants, sliced into rounds
1 cup flour
1 ½ cups canola oil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups arugula (rocket), chopped
2 mozzarella balls, sliced into rounds
1. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cooks, stirring, until softened.
2. Meanwhile, blend tomatoes with juice in a blender until almost smooth. Add tomatoes, water, and sugar to saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and season.
3. Add canola oil to deep sauce pan over high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish and dredge eggplant slices, shaking off excess. Pan-fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel.
4. Add remaining tbsp oil to a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook remaining garlic with red-pepper flakes, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir through arugula, and season.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). To arrange stacks, use 4 ring molds on a baking sheet. Place 2 tsp of tomato sauce on the bottom of each and top with a slice of eggplant. Arrange mozzarella over eggplant and top with 2 tsp of tomato sauce. Add another layer of eggplant and top with 1/4 of arugula mixture. Top with another slice of eggplant and 2 tsp of tomato sauce. Bake for 15 minutes.
Who needs meat?