This eggplant sat in my fridge for so long before I finally decided what I wanted to do with it but I’m not mad about that because this meal was well worth the wait.
I feel like eggplant is an ingredient that most people have never cooked with or have some serious misconceptions about, but I highly recommend opening your mind (and your mouth) to it.
I like eggplant primarily for two reasons; mainly because it easily takes on the flavor of the ingredients and spices you cook it with, making it an option to use in a wide variety of dishes. Also, if you pick out a good one cook it right, the texture becomes smooth and creamy which is something you wouldn’t expect just by looking at them.
This recipe is a take on the familiar open-faced, warm sandwich and mimics flavors of eggplant parmesan but I used mozzarella because it melts much better. I really like the texture contrast created by surrounding tender, creamy eggplant flesh with crispy breadcrumbs.
What will you need?
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2 large eggs
1 loaf of ciabatta bread (or something similar)
1 ball of mozzarella (about 8 ounces)
1 large tomato
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
paprika (for color)
How do you make it?
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice your eggplants into 1/2 inch thick rounds.
In a medium bowl, whisk together two eggs and reserve on the side. Also, using part of your ciabatta, blend up enough bread to create 1.5 cups of bread crumbs in a food processor with the onion powder, salt and pepper. Put the crumbs in another container next to your egg mixture. We’re making an assembly line here.
Next, take your eggplant rounds one by one and first dip them into the eggs, then in the breadcrumb mixture to get the outside substantially coated. Do this with all of the eggplant rounds and place them in a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until golden and tender. This will take 15-20 minutes.
While the eggplants are baking, you can prepare the rest of your ingredients. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices. Also, slice up the remainder of the ciabatta bread.
When the eggplant rounds come out, you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches. Leave the oven on because you’re going to use it again right away!
Start with the slice of bread brush it lightly with olive oil. Stack one eggplant round on top, then a tomato and finally as much mozzarella as you can handle.
Sprinkle the top with some paprika, salt and pepper and put back in the oven. Leave these in the oven for about 5 minutes or until they are sufficiently melty.
Serve with some fresh mixed greens.