Recipe Corner:Armenian Vegan’s Eggplant Casserole


This vegan eggplant Casserole recipe was published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on April 8, 2014. It is one of many vegan recipes featured in Dikranouhi “Dee” Kirazian’s Armenian Vegan cookbook published in 2013. During the six years it took her to write the cookbook, Dikranouhi insisted on telling no one about her project. “I wanted it to be a surprise,” she says. With the assistance of her husband George, an accomplished author and editor, Dikranouhi meticulously prepared and tested over 200 vegan recipes using no animal products, taking photos, and documenting each step and ingredient along the way.

Born and raised in Beirut, Dikranouhi came to the United States in 1959, where she taught Armenian language classes at Holy Cross Armenian Church in Union City, New Jersey.


2 large eggplants

Olive oil (for brushing eggplant)

Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste

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For the sauce:

2 medium onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1⁄4 cup olive oil

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 bay leaves

1⁄2 teaspoon oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil

15-oz. can diced tomatoes

8-oz. can tomato sauce

Serves 4.


Wash eggplant and cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick round slices. Place slices on a large tray, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Turn slices over and repeat on other side. Put under a broiler preheated to between 350 and 400 degrees, and broil both sides until a light golden brown. When done, remove from oven and set aside.

Prepare the sauce while eggplant is cooking: Chop onions and garlic and sauté for several minutes in small amount of olive oil; then add the rest of the olive oil, mushrooms and other spices. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, and stir frequently. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, then turn off heat.

Prepare for baking: Remove bay leaves from the sauce, then pour several spoons of sauce on the bottom of an 11-by-7-inch or 9-by-9-inch casserole dish. Layer the bottom of casserole dish with eggplant slices. Spoon some of the sauce on this layer; then add new layers, spooning sauce over each. Be sure to keep some sauce to pour over top layer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve as a main dish with pilaf or pasta, along with a crunchy baguette or Armenian bread. (This dish may be served cold as an appetizer.)

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