Vegan Courgette Parmigiana
This vegan courgette parmigiana is the ultimate super tasty comfort food to showcase the gorgeous flavour of zucchini, now fully in season.
Have you been growing courgettes (zucchini) and you have plenty but not sure how to use them up?
I know the feeling.
As much as growing your own veggies can be highly rewarding and satisfying, sometimes we just end up having too much produce and we get tired of using the same recipes in order to use them.
Well, did you know that in Southern Italy Courgette Parmigiana is actually a thing?
Especially in my family we would eat this more often than the classic recipe with aubergines because my dad cannot have eggplants.
I actually had to grow up a little before realizing that the courgette version wasn’t actually the authentic one.
Who cares though, it’s just as tasty and perfect to prepare in bulk to enjoy all year around with a bunch of tricks that I’m about to share with you.
That’s actually how we’ve been preparing this and many other dishes during summer season, with our own homegrown produce, something that in the south of Italy families do as a tradition.
We would make passata and sundried tomatoes with our own grown tomatoes, and plenty of what-so-called “conserve” (oil or vinegar preserved veggies in a jar) with a different array of vegetables, that can literally last for years if well made.
With fresh courgettes or aubergines my grandma used to batter and deep fry the slices to be frozen in bags, already portioned to be turned into a parmigiana whenever we had a craving during the other months of the year.
I’m aware it is a little time consuming, especially if you’re planning to cook a good amount of courgettes, but for as little as half a day of your time, you could enjoy this amazing and super comforting meal anytime of the year, without having to buy overpriced veggies not in season that even lack on taste.
You can turn this into a ritual, a day that you would spend with the members of your family, between a cup of tea and a chat.
But of course you can make this vegan courgette parmigiana with just the amount of courgettes for one meal.
One kilogram of courgettes is enough to fill a 20×30 cm tray (8×12 inch) yielding 6 fair portions.
The finished dish can also be stored in the freezer for a few months, making it the perfect last minute meal when we do not have much time to cook.
How to make a Vegan Courgette Parmigiana
We can sum up the steps to make an authentic deep fried parmigiana into five:
Slice. Cut the courgettes into a 4 mm (0.15 inch) slices. It’s better to slice the vegetable lengthwise, although for very big courgettes you can also think of slicing into big round pieces.
Batter. The batter is one key element of a good parmigiana.
We want it to be able to coat our courgette slice without being too runny or thick and heavy. The traditional recipe calls for beaten eggs, but I assure you we can achieve a spot on batter leaving out the eggs by using a mix of plant milk, flour and starch.
Alternatively, you can weight all the ingredients in a bowl and blend everything together until smooth as shown in the following picture.
Deep Fry. After coating each slice in the plant based batter, we have to deep fry them in abundant vegetable oil. We want to fill the pan with oil at least one inch (2-3 cm) from the bottom for good results. Also, the oil must be pretty hot before frying. Always test your oil temperature with a drop of batter: if it reaches the surface of the oil immediately after dropping it, your oil is ready; if it stays on the bottom, you have to wait a bit longer before you start frying. Alternatively you can immerge one end of a wooden skewer in the pan. If little bubbles form around it your oil is ready, if not, you have to wait for it to be at the right temperature.
Assemble. To assemble the parmigiana we need to form 3-4 layers of tomato sauce, deep fried courgettes and vegan mozzarella. On the last layer, it goes tomato sauce topped with a generous amount of vegan grated cheese.
Bake. Last step before tasting this beauty is to bake our vegan parmigiana in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. I like to use the grill mode in the last 5 minutes to make the top slightly charred and crispier, but that’s completely up to you!
Now, if you’re looking for even more ideas to make with courgettes you’ve come to the right place!
You have to check (and try) the following recipes out, you’ll be absolutely amazed, I promise:
– Courgette and Potato Cakes
– Simple Blossom & Courgette Bake
– Super Fluffy Courgette Stuffed Brioche Bread
– Sea Flavoured Courgette and Blossom Pasta
– Fuss Free Courgette Baked Frittata
– Courgette and Potato Bake
– Courgette and Smoked Paprika Pastry Rolls
– Creamy Courgette and Rocket Pasta
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Vegan Courgette Parmigiana Recipe
1 kg Big Courgettes
Vegetable Oil for Frying
200 g Vegan Mozzarella
30 g Vegan Parmesan Cheese
…for the tomato sauce…
750 ml Tomato Passata
1 tbsp Chopped Parsley
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt
Pepper to taste
…for the batter…
330 g Plant Milk (Soy)
150 g All Purpose Flour
30 g Corn Starch
1 tsp Garlic Granules
1/2 tsp Black Salt (Kala Namak)
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1. Wash and cut the courgettes into a 4 mm (0.15 inch) slices.
2. Prepare the batter by combining all dry ingredients first, then add the plant milk a bit at a time to avoid creating lumps and mix until smooth with a whisk.
3. Bring to temperature the vegetable oil (see tips and tricks in post) that has to be at least 1 inch above the bottom of the pan.
4. Coat each courgette slice in the batter, and deep fry for a couple of minutes on each side or until slightly brown and crispy. Arrange on a plate covered with kitchen paper to absorb the excess of oil.
5. Repeat until you have finished all the slices.
6. In a jug season the passata with chopped parsley, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.
7. Start assembling the parmigiana by spreading some tomato paste on the bottom of the tray, cover with a layer of fried courgettes, another layer of passata, followed by grated vegan mozzarella.
8. Repeat step 7 for 2 or 3 more layers.
9. Top the final layer with the remaining passata and a generous spread of vegan parmesan cheese.
10. Bake the vegan courgette parmigiana tray in a 180°C (350°F) preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. Turn on the grill mode in the last 5 minutes if you’d like the top to be slightly charred.
11. Serve the vegan courgette parmigiana warm or at room temperature. Some say it is even better the day after.
with love, Adriana.