We only had 1 eggplant grow in the garden this year but WHAT AN EGGPLANT it was. It kind of became my “garden’s masterpiece”. The distinctive (almost feminine) curvy shape, deep hue of purple, thick outer skin with a presently soft, delicate interior. Eggplant is nature’s appreciate for an art deco style. Eggplant is cool. If you know how to prepare and serve the unique texture and mild flavour of an eggplant, you’ll fall in love with it either for the first time or all over again – just like a great rock n’ roll song.
I cooked my masterpiece up in (what I consider to be) the greatest eggplant dish: The Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwich. Naturally you can prepare this breaded and fried eggplant on pasta or a salad but I find the crusty, chewy frame of a ciabatta bun perfectly showcases the juicy, crunchy textures and sweet taste of sliced eggplant, deep-fried and soaked in tomato sauce. As usual, plenty of melted cheese elevates this sandwich to its rock star status.
A side serving of eggplant knowledge with your main: Eggplant is botanically classified as a berry, and contains numerous small, soft seeds, which are edible, but are bitter because they contain nicotinoid alkaloids, unsurprising as it is a close relative of tobacco. I have a sneaking suspicion Keith Richards loves eggplant.
Rock Star Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 large firm eggplant
- 2 large eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup olive oil, approximately (You can replace with veg. or canola oil if you are in a jam)
- 4 to 6 crusty buns (Ciabatta, Italian hoagie roll, kaiser.. your choice)
- 1 cup Mozzarella, shredded or sliced thin
- 1 to 1.5 cups prepared marinara sauce, warm (This is a guide for an ‘average’ amount of sauce. Go crazy with the sauce if you’re into that)
- Handful of fresh parsley
- Sauteed yellow onoin and cremini mushrooms (optional)
- Meatballs (optional)
- Bed of mixed lettuce (optional)
Slice the eggplant crosswise about 1/4 to 3/8-inch thick – make slices as consistent as possible. If the base of the eggplant is very large, cut it in half lengthwise.
Scramble the eggs with salt and pepper to make an egg wash. Dip your eggplant slices into the egg wash. Then dip the eggplant slices, 1 at a time, into a flat plate filled with seasoned bread crumbs, covering all surfaces, and set aside. Continue breading the eggplant until all slices are done. Discard excess egg wash and bread crumbs.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan and allow it to heat up. (Add more oil as necessary during cooking.)
Add the breaded eggplant slices to the pan, cover and cook until you begin to see the eggplant become translucent, about 5 minutes. If it begins to burn, lower heat and allow it to cook slowly. Using a large spatula, turn eggplant onto the other side and cook 1 to 2 more minutes with the lid on until eggplant is completely tender.
When eggplant is completely cooked, remove from frying pan and place onto paper towels to blot any excess oil.
Place 2 or 3 eggplant slices onto your bun, top with shredded mozzarella cheese, then warm marinara sauce. Enjoy! xo
Note: Don’t be afraid to place leftover eggplant discs in Tupperware and store in the fridge. These are great to quickly reheat and eat on the go.Add to favorites