Vegetarian Eggplant Piccata with Mushrooms and Asparagus

I haven’t eaten meat in well over a year now.  I often get asked “do you miss it?”… or told “you should totally try this faux chicken salad I had the other day!”  And my response is no… not really.  I don’t miss meat.  However, there are some dishes that I miss that are usually heavily associated with meat.  Chicken Piccata was easily one of my favorite meals to make myself prior to going vegetarian.  I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to make a vegetarian version.  Perhaps my aversion to meat when I started as a vegetarian pushed me away from any meat related flavors I had associated in my mind.  Whatever the case… I was craving picatta.  More specifically I was craving creamy decadent lemony sauce with capers.

This is a spin of one of my older recipes, eggplant parmesan.  I used the same technique to “bread” the eggplant here.

eggplatnpicatta

Ingredients for the Piccata Sauce

  • 3 Lemons Juiced (give or take depending on how lemon-y you like your stuff)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Cup White Wine (I used half a cup of White Wine and half a cup of Sherry, because it’s all I had)
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 2 T Butter or Ghee
  • 1/2 C Vegetable Broth
  • Thickener (I used arrowroot)
  • Capers

Ingredients for the Eggplant Portion

  • 1 C Almond Meal
  • .5 C Quinoa Flour
  • 1/4 C Nutritional Yeast (give or take)
  • Italian Seasonings (heavy amount)
  • Salt
  • Thyme
  • 2 Petit Eggplants (enough to make about 10ish rounds)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Oil

Ingredients for the rest of the dish

  • Asparagus (I used half a bundle if thin Asparagus)
  • Mushrooms – about a half pound, up to a pound
  • Optional: Sherry, More Garlic, Lemon Peel Granules (this is just something I had on hand)

Directions!

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400F.
  2. Peel the eggplants and slice into 1/2 inch rounds
  3. Combine all dry ingredients off the eggplant portion to create the breading (adding the lemon peel granules here if you fancy).  In a separate bowl, combine about 2 T Oil and 2 T Vinegar and whisk well.
  4. Dip your eggplant rounds first in the oil/vinegar, then dredge with the coating and set on a foil lined baking sheet. Do this for all your eggplant.
  5. Cook for about 30 – 45 minutes, flipping every 10/15 minutes or so – until they’re nice and lightly browned.
  6. While the eggplants cook, prepare your Asparagus and Mushrooms to your liking.  I lightly sautéed my asparagus over medium heat until bright green and limp.  I also tossed it with extra breading I had (but this didn’t really work, so I don’t recommend it).
  7. For the Mushrooms, start by lightly browning your garlic in some oil/butter over medium heat.  Add in a decent amount (maybe 1/4 C? probably a little less, just a nice thin later) of Sherry and cook out the alcohol.  Add in your mushrooms and cook until completion – about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Finally, prepare your sauce.  Heat butter over medium heat and lightly cook your garlic.  Add in the wine and vegetable broth, cooking through to cook out the wine medium/high heat.  Thicken the sauce to your liking.  To thicken with arrowroot, mix about 1/2 T with 1/2 T Water and blend well, then add that to your simmering sauce and stir until thickened slightly.  Add more until you had desired thickness.  I just lightly thickened mine to give it a nice viscosity.
  9. Finally turn off heat and add in your lemon juice slowly, tasting and adding it until you’ve reached desired tartness.
  10. To plate you can serve with rice to make it a bigger meal, put everything together, top with sauce and capers.

 

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