This is a really comforting and delicious meal, but it does take a little bit of effort and the timing is pretty important. Having said that, it tastes so good it is worth that little bit of extra effort! It’s a great way to use up those zucchini that get a bit over-grown in the garden, although it goes without saying that if you only have eggplant you can just use one or the other. You can also use normal size zucchini, but it does make things a bit more fiddly as you need more slices. The number of vegetables you need really depends on their size. Basically you want the equivalent of three or four large slices of the fried veggies per person.
Use whatever tomato sauce you like, be it homemade or from a jar.
Remember you need to be careful when working with very hot oil. It is really flammable and it spits, so take care! Be sure to remove the oil from the heat as soon as you have finished cooking.
To serve four people you need:-
1 to 2 eggplants, washed with the top and end removed, and sliced in half inch slices
1 very large zucchini, washed with the top and end removed, and sliced in half inch slices
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
5 fluid ounces sparkling water
about 1 cup thinly shaved or grated vegetarian cheese (preferably mozzarella)
2 cups tomato sauce
about 12 ounces spaghetti (enough for 4 people)
sunflower or olive oil (not Extra Virgin)
Start the spaghetti cooking in boiling salted water as per the package instructions, and heat about a half inch of oil in a large frying pan.
Turn the oven on to medium (about 300℉ or 150℃), and warm a baking sheet.
Meanwhile, put the flour and salt in a medium size bowl. Gradually whisk in the sparkling water.
Place the tomato sauce in a saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Take a small spoonful of batter and sprinkle a few drops of batter in the oil. If it sizzles up nicely, it is ready. If not, get it a bit hotter. The hotter the oil, the less will be absorbed into the vegetables.
When the oil is ready, dip the vegetable slices into the batter (it’s best to cook the zucchini first) and put about four to five slices at a time into the oil. Leave the slices for two to three minutes and then just peek the bottom of one using tongs. Once you can see they are browning, then turn the slices over and cook for another couple of minutes on the other side. When both sides are brown, drain the slices on paper towels. Place the slices on the baking sheet and put a couple slivers of the cheese on top of each slice.
Put the baking sheet in the oven, and repeat the battering and frying steps with all the zucchini and eggplant slices, remembering to drain them, top with cheese and keep warm in the oven.
When the spaghetti is done, drain it and return it to the pan. Hopefully by now all your vegetables will be cooked, but if not, carry on cooking them, keeping the spaghetti warm and stirring occasionally from time to time.
Serve as in the photograph at the top of the recipe, with a bit of tomato sauce atop the fried eggplant and zucchini slices and a bit of spaghetti topped with tomato sauce on the side. You can sprinkle some more cheese on top if you like.
Linking up with:
|My Meatless Mondays|
|Just Another Meatless Monday|