I’ve been making these sandwiches for a long time.
I’ve wavered about using them for a blog post though, since my standard technique is to fry the eggplant slices in a large quantity of oil, which I attest is extremely delicious but perhaps not appropriate as a recipe makeover.
So I tried baking them.
And golly, they are just as good.
I fell in love with eggplant sandwiches at Uno Mustachio in the basement St. Lawrence Market.
California Sandwiches also makes a doozy.
You know who else makes a doozy?
And soon, you.
When you’re picking out your eggplant, look for one that is small and firm with a bright green stem. The bigger and older they get, the more bitter they become.
Do you guys use garbage bowls when prepping your veg? Makes for a nice tidy workspace and easier clean up. It was one of the first lessons of home cooking I learned from watching Rachel Ray on the Food Network ages ago.
Here, are my breading bowls. The flour soaks up some of the moisture on the surface of the eggplant which allows the egg mixture to bind to the slices, leading to a nice sticky surface for the panko to evenly crust each slice.
Standard breadcrumbs will work here too, but if you’re baking rather than frying, the panko have a better crunch factor; absolutely key to a successful eggplant parm sandwich.
These bake up with a crispy crust and a soft and almost creamy interior. Good luck saving them all for the sandwiches.
The recipe calls for a tomato sauce of your choice. The one I used here is a recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis. I always make a double batch to freeze for pasta or pizza later on.
Now to build them….
Be sure to load up on a few napkins before you tuck in.
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches
- 1 Medium eggplant (cut in ½ inch slices)
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 Large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 ½ cup japanese bread crumbs (panko)
- ½ teaspoon salt (divided)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (divided)
- 3 tablespoons canola oil (divded)
- 1 green bell pepper (cut into ¼ inch slices)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into ¼ inch slices)
- 1 Medium yellow onion (cut into ¼ inch slices)
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup tomato sauce (your choice)
- 4 whole grain buns
If your eggplant is quite big and perhaps not as fresh as you would like, it may require 'salting' to remove some of its bitter flavour. Pour 1 tsp salt over eggplant slices and allow to drain in a colander in the sink for about 30 minutes. Rinse well, pat dry and continue on with the following recipe steps.
||Preheat oven to 425F. Place flour in a medium bowl. Place egg and water in a 2nd bowl and whisk until slightly frothy. Place breadcrumbs, ¼ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp pepper in a 3rd bowl and mix until combined. |
||Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush 2 Tbsp canola oil evenly over foil lined sheet. One slice at a time, dredge eggplant in flour bowl, followed by the egg bowl being sure to coat both sides, and finally the breadcrumb bowl coating both sides equally. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake eggplant for 25 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through, until breadcrumbs are golden brown. |
||Meanwhile, heat remaining canola oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Sauté onions, peppers and remaining salt and pepper until very soft, 8-10 minutes. |
||Build each sandwich with 2-3 slices of eggplant, ¼ of the pepper and onion mixture, 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese and tomato sauce (I will leave the amount of sauce to your discretion). |