Columnist Seiran Sinjari is back with a comfort food recipe you’ll love: a delightful Crispy Eggplant Sandwich. Her recipe column All About the Veg! is all about highlighting the versatility of fruits and vegetables by shining a spotlight on a different one in each of her articles.
Crispy Eggplant Sandwich
Welcome to the final All About the Veg column of the year! I couldn’t think of a better way to end the year than with my favorite veg; eggplant, featured in a delicious, flavor-packed Crispy Eggplant Sandwich. A sandwich that will satisfy your cravings for sure!
This sandwich is all about texture and flavor, with crispy breaded eggplant slices and a creamy pepperoncini lettuce salad inspired by the classic grinder sandwich. The eggplant has a perfectly crunchy crust on the outside and a soft, creamy center, making it the perfect base for this vegan sandwich.
Eggplant is such a versatile and flavorful vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. When raw or not properly cooked it has a slightly spongy texture and can sometimes be bitter, but when cooked to perfection, it’s truly a magical vegetable. The creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture is like no other, and the rich, slightly sweet and earthy flavor is what we want to bring out. One of the keys to cooking eggplant is to give it enough time to cook through, so that it is neither bitter nor spongy. When it is done just right, the eggplant becomes a thing of beauty – creamy, tender, and bursting with flavor. Whether you are roasting it, frying it, grilling it, or sautéing it, eggplant is a versatile and delicious ingredient that is sure to impress. So don’t be afraid to give this tasty vegetable a try – you’ll be glad you did!
Not only is eggplant delicious, it’s also packed with nutrients. It’s a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6, and it also contains antioxidants.
Before we get to the recipe, here are a few tips for selecting and preparing eggplant:
- Choose eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size, with smooth, unblemished skin.
- To soften the texture and reduce any bitterness, you can slice the eggplant and sprinkle it with salt before cooking. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse and/or pat dry before using.
- I hope you’ll love this recipe as much as I do, and I can’t wait to share even more delicious dishes with you in the coming year. As always, I’m grateful for my readers and for the opportunity to share my love of vegan food with you here at Best of Vegan.
How to make this Crispy Eggplant Sandwich:Print
A tasty eggplant sandwich with lots of flavors and textures. The crispy eggplant can also be used for other dishes such as salads and wraps.
For the Eggplant:
- 1 eggplant + 1 tsp salt
- 135 g all purpose flour
- 200 ml oat milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 120 g breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan)
- 1 tsp oregano
- salt, pepper & chili flakes to taste
- neutral oil for frying
For the Pepperoncini Lettuce Salad:
- 5 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp French wholegrain mustard (or other mustard)
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 clove of garlic, pressed
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- 6 pepperoncinis, finely sliced
- 1/3 iceberg lettuce
- 2 small shallots or 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4–6 slices of grilled rustic bread or 2–3 pieces of focaccia
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 10–12 basil leaves
- Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1 cm thick slices. Salt the slices on each side and place them in even layers in a large colander. Place a heavy object on top to squeeze out the liquid, leave for about 20 minutes. Then wipe the slices completely dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Arrange three shallow bowls on your counter, place flour into the first, oat milk into the second and breadcrumbs into the third. Pour the lemon juice into the milk and stir, leave for 10 minutes.
- Season the flour with salt and pepper and season the breadcrumbs with nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan), oregano, salt, pepper & chili flakes.
- Pour oil into a deep frying pan or large saucepan until the oil reaches about 1 1⁄2 cm up the edge. Heat the oil over medium high heat, when you stick a wooden chopstick into it and it starts to bubble around the chopstick, the oil is ready.
- Stir the milk again and then take one eggplant slice at a time and dip it first into the flour, making sure both sides are thoroughly covered. Shake off excess flour and then dip the eggplant into the milk and lastly into the breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs into the eggplant on both sides (some will fall off during frying). Shake off excess breadcrumbs gently and place in the pan with tongs pushing away from you.
- Do not touch the eggplant for 1-2 minutes until it has a firm crust on the bottom, fry on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Fry 2-3 slices at a time. Let excess oil drip off on a wire rack or paper towel.
Pepperoncini Lettuce Salad:
- Make sure the lettuce is thoroughly dry and then finely shred it. Set aside.
- Squeeze out all the liquid from the sliced pepperoncinis. Mix it with vegan mayonnaise, mustard,garlic, pressed, nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan), oregano, basil, chili flakes, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix in the lettuce and onions just before serving.
Assemble the sandwich:
- Place a generous layer of the salad on one bread slice, top with a couple of slices of eggplant. Now add tomato slices and season them with salt and pepper. and Finally add a few basil leaves before covering with the top slice. Repeat with the remaining bread slices.
Recipe, text, and photography by Seiran Sinjari.
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