Eggplant Parmigiana with a Crunchy Hemp Seed Crust

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What Started it all:
Hemp Seeds, Eggplant, spices (cumin, paprika, chili powder), food processor

In this dish, the sweetness of the eggplant is elevated by the subtle nutty flavor of hemp seeds, creating a delightful harmony of textures and tastes.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a food processor, combine hemp seeds, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and a pinch of salt. Process until the mixture is well combined and slightly chopped.
  3. In a shallow dish, mix together breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Dip each eggplant slice into the hemp seed mixture, coating both sides evenly.
  5. Place the coated eggplant slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender and the crust is golden brown.
  7. While the eggplant is baking, heat the tomato sauce in a saucepan over medium heat.
  8. To assemble the Parmigiana, place a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce.
  9. Sprinkle a layer of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese over the eggplant. Repeat this process until all ingredients have been used, finishing with a layer of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese on top.
  10. Bake the Parmigiana for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with chopped fresh basil leaves, if desired.

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