Last week I spent a lot of time waddling around the different Farmers’ market in the city; sniffing produce and stuffing eggplants, cucumbers, asparagus, tomatoes and a ton of other produce (I didn’t really need) in my shopping bag.
I guess I experienced some sort of compulsive shopping syndrome girls always talk about.
Whatever I was laying eyes on I had to buy; which in a Farmers’ market it’s kind of an ok thing to do. No actual risk of financially ruin yourself. Worst case scenario is that when you get home you realize there’s no space left in the fridge. Which is exactly what happened to me.
As I had to put all that produce to good use I started by making dill pickles for the first time in my life. I still don’t know how that went. I have yet to open a jar but it was for sure a lot of fun. I also made some awesomely good cherry tomato curry (I’ll post the recipe soon enough). With the eggplant I tried this recipe for eggplant baked sandwiches.
I’m gonna be completely honest with you guys: these dudes are probably one of the yummiest food I ever made. I had eventually to bake a second batch because by the time I grabbed my SRL to take a couple of beauty shots they were all gone. I mean, that good. And so easy to make. Yes, there’s really no cooking technique involved. As long as you can slice an eggplant you’re good to go.
Using eggplant (instead of bread) and almond meal (instead of breadcrumbs) makes them gluten-free, grain-free and paleo friendly (i.e., primal). You have kids? Well this is probably the easiest way to trick them into eating vegetables. Actually, there’s no need to trick them. They’re going to love these sandwiches “just the way they are”.
Baked Eggplant Sandwiches Print this recipe!
Adapted from The Food of Southern Italy and TheShiksaInTheKitchen
Makes 8 sandwiches
1 medium eggplant
3.5 oz / 100 gr provolone cheese (or sharp cheddar), sliced
handful of sun-dried tomatoes
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons almond meal
4 tablespoons Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
ground pepper to taste
Fill a large bowl with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until the salt dissolves completely. Slice the eggplant into rounds about ¼-inch thick and place them into the bowl of water. Let the eggplant rounds sit for at least 20 minutes to draw out the bitterness.
Fish them out of the water and pat them dry with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 375°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Place the eggplant rounds on a flat surface, lining them up in rows with like-sized paired together. Cover half of the eggplant rounds with slices of cheese. Top with sun dried tomatoes, sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Make the sandwiches using the other eggplant slices.
In a small bowl mix almond meal and Parmensan-Reggiano cheese.
In another bowl beat the egg.
Grab one sandwich at a time, gripping it firmly in the center to hold it together. Dip the sandwich in the beaten egg, making sure it is completely covered on all sides with a thin layer of egg. Immediately dip the sandwich in the almond meal mixture, making sure to coat the sides and edges evenly (it doesn’t have to perfect though). Place the sandwich on the greased baking sheet.
Repeat procedure with all sandwiches.
Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, flipping once at the 20 minutes mark (although I completely forgot about this), until the sandwiches are golden on both sides.
Then have at them, just make sure not to burn your tongue.
One sandwich has 105 calories, 7.5 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of carbs and 6.5 grams of protein.