The secrets to this are very good bread, fruity olive oil, and this steam-fry technique that results in tender, almost melty eggplant slices.
This goes out to Souper (Soup, Salad, Sammie) Sundays, created and hosted each week by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.
Simple Eggplant Sandwich
For 4 sandwiches:
1 large eggplant
fruity olive oil
4 Herbed Chiabatta Sandwich Buns, sliced, or your own favorite bread
Optional additions (see below)
Slice top from eggplant, and then cut 8 1/2-inch slices. Cut slices in half.
In a large, non-stick skillet with a lid, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to medium-hot (about mark 5 on my gas cooktop). Dip each eggplant piece in the oil and then immediately flip over. Continue adding slices until skillet is full or oil has been absorbed by the slices. Toss a tablespoon of water into the pan (or a handful) and cover immediately. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn slices over, add another tablespoon of water, cover, and cook an additional 3 minutes. Test slices for doneness with a fork and remove if they’re very tender. Turn over remaining slices, add a tablespoon of water, cover and cook for 2 minutes or until done.
Add more oil to the pan and repeat with remaining eggplant slices.
Smear the bun bottoms with a bit of Vegenaise and top with 4 pieces of eggplant. Add optional additions as desired.
Suggestions for additions:
- Instead of mayo, add hummus. Artichoke hummus would be especially good here.
- Curried lentil spread
- If you’re using bread that doesn’t have herbs, add some to the mayo.
- Add to the mayo one of the following: chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, dijon mustard, harissa or prepared horseradish
- Fresh arugula or spinach
- Lettuce and tomato
- Roasted red bell pepper
- Sliced artichoke hearts or hearts of palm
- Sun-dried tomato
- An olive salad, to make this a muffaletta
- whatever your heart desires