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.