Traditional Italian Baked Eggplant Parmesan made Vegan. Layered with marinara sauce, lightly fried fresh eggplant slices, and a creamy cashew sauce. Warm. Comforting. Classic.
Using a peeler, peel the purple skin off the fresh eggplant. Using a sharp knife, slice eggplant into very thin, round slices.
Place eggplant slices on top of paper towels or in a colander. Sprinkle with salt on both sides. Let sit to "sweat" for 20-30 minutes. Blot with paper towels to soak up the beads of water.
Meanwhile, make your cashew cream sauce. Use the quick-soak method for the cashews if you need to. In a food processor or high-speed blender, add soaked cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), water, salt and pepper. Blend on high until creamy
Fill a bowl with flour and a separate bowl with almond milk. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dredge each eggplant slice, first in the almond milk then in the flour. Place the slice into the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until browned.
You can add several eggplant slices to the pan at a time, but don't overcrowd. Add more olive oil as necessary. Once browned, place eggplant on some paper towels to cool and soak up any excess oil
Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare an 8x8 oven-safe baking dish. Add a layer of your favorite marinara sauce on the bottom. Then layer the fried eggplant slices, overlapping them slightly to leave minimal holes. Layer a few tablespoons of cashew cream on top. Keep layering--sauce, eggplant, cashew cream--until you run out of ingredients.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble.