A thing I have learned over the last 10 years (!) here is that people have fairly bifurcated opinions of eggplant. Some find it to be the greatest, especially when it is at its most eggplant-y, others don’t care what you do with it, they’re never going to be converted, but even the most eggplant-equivocal agree on one thing: eggplant parmesan is the bee’s knees. I am, however, the one that’s ambivalent about it. To take beautiful coins of eggplant, batter and fry them to a profound and well-seasoned golden crisp just to bury them in texture-killing amounts of sauce and melted cheese feels wrong to me, disrespectful of the labor involved and calories embedded in gloriously deep-fried foods. (I feel the same way about fries smothered in sauces and gravies. Unfollow me now!)
All of these concerns go out the window when making a sub, however, which is what we called hoagies/heroes/grinders in my half of New Jersey growing up. The eggplant parm sub is in a way-too-small category of Great Vegetarian Sandwiches*, and I don’t know when they went out of style, but I don’t see them around very often anymore. The eggplant’s texture is less compromised than it gets in casserole form, and so much extra from a seeded roll (it must be seeded; don’t even ask), I find you can even make compromises with the eggplant itself (baking instead of frying breaded eggplant or roasting coins without breading at all) and not feel like you’re missing a thing.
Not that we made any compromises on Friday night. Nope, I did the whole shebang, the panko, the skillet of olive oil, the good bread and it might have been gloriously over-the-top save one thing: the top slice of bread. By doing away with the sub’s ceiling, the sub becomes a blistered, unbelievable and totally unsoggy melt and yet somehow not so heavy that you immediately need a nap. If you have even the smallest smidgen of a doubt over whether you should make these this week, close your browser now because you can’t just have a recipe like this across your screen with friends/family members/roommates around and not expect them to start offering favors in exchange for you to bring it to life.
* Can we talk about other Great Vegetarian Sandwiches? This broccoli melt is one of mine, as is this smashed chickpea salad and the ratatouille sub in the first cookbook. But I always need more. What are your unexpected favorites?
One year ago: Frozen Hot Chocolate
Two years ago: Smoky Eggplant Dip
Three years ago: Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes
Four years ago: My Favorite Brownies
Five years ago: Hazelnut Plum Crumb Tart
Six years ago: Eggplant Salad Toasts
Seven years ago: Grilled Eggplant and Olive Pizza, Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting and Melon Agua Fresca
Eight years ago: Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Kefta and Zucchini Kebabs
Nine years ago: Smoke-Roasted Stuffed Bell Peppers
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: White Russian
1.5 Years Ago: Spaghetti Pangrattato with Crispy Eggs
2.5 Years Ago: Stuck-Pot Rice with Lentil and Yogurt
3.5 Years Ago: Blood Orange Margaritas
4.5 Years Ago: Double Coconut Muffins
Eggplant Parmesan Melts
- 2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- Olive oil, for baking, roasting or frying
- 3 1/2 cups prepared sauce or the following ingredients to make your own:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or frying oil)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce can tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pinches of red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more to garnish
- About a 1-pound loaf seeded Italian bread or baguette
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan
- 3/4 pounds mozzarella, in thin slices
To bread and bake or fry: Set up three wide, deep bowls on your counter, one with flour, one with the three eggs and one with the breadcrumbs. Season the flour very heavily (at least a teaspoon of kosher salt and many grinds of black pepper) and stir to combine. Beat the eggs until combined. Dip each slice of eggplant in the flour, tapping off excess, then the egg, letting excess drip off, and then the breadcrumbs, packing them on.
To bake breaded eggplant: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place two racks (such as a metal cooling rack for cookies) over two large baking sheets and brush or spray them with olive oil. Arrange breaded eggplant slices in one layer on racks, season well with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 minutes on first side and 15 on the second, until edges are crisp and eggplant inside is soft. Set aside.
To fry breaded eggplant: Heat a large skillet with 1/2-inch olive oil over medium/medium-high heat. Feeling stingy with the good olive oil? Use half olive oil and half of another good oil for frying, such as sunflower, safflower, vegetable, grapeseed or canola. (Most restaurants do!) Once hot enough that a droplet of water hisses and splatters when added to the oil, fry breaded eggplant, a few slices at a time, until golden underneath, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook until browned on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain on paper towels and immediately, while they’re still very hot, season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining slices.
To roast un-breaded eggplant: Brush two large baking sheets with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Arrange eggplant slices in one layer and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Once flipped, sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.
Meanwhile, make sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook for one minute, until faintly golden. Add tomato puree, which is going to sputter and splash, so step back. Season with salt, black pepper, pepper flakes and stir in oregano. Simmer, stirring from time to time, for 15 minutes.
Assemble melts: Heat broiler. Split bread in half and briefly run under broiler, just to lightly toast it so that the sauce doesn’t make it soggy. Split each bread half into 6 smaller toasts and arrange on 1 to 2 large baking sheets that have been lined with foil. Spread a little prepared sauce over each toast and sprinkle with some of the parmesan. Add a few eggplant slices to each, fanning them out. Top with more sauce (to taste, but not so much that eggplant is drenched), parmesan and then place a slice or so off mozzarella over the top of each, enough that when it melts, it should drape down easily. Run trays of melts under the broiler until cheese on top is melted and blistery, 5 minutes in my oven but possibly more or less in yours, so please keep an eye on it. Garnish with additional basil and dig in.
133 comments on eggplant parmesan melts
Great vegetarian sandwich: Broccoli Rabe and Provolone Grinder
YUM! I am always looking for new things to do with eggplant – your charred eggplant salad pasta salad has been a staple in my kitchen since you posted it. I’m even bringing it on a family camping trip this weekend, since my mom is also an eggplant fanatic (and it will hold up well in a cooler).
My favorite veggie sandwich to make at home is a version of this guy: http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/01/veggie-behemoth-lover.html
I swap things out for what I have around, so it’s a good “clean out the ends of things from your fridge” dish (and don’t we always need more of those too? No? Just me?) and it never fails to satisfy.
Whelp….this eggplant-avoider is intrigued! Looks delicious.
As for veg-sandwiches, I find myself making a version of this beauty more often than I should admit (https://food52.com/recipes/24731-fried-cauliflower-sandwich).
One of my favorite vegetarian sandwiches is also from your first cookbook – cucumber avocado. I could eat that all the time.
I also used to love Brie and apple sandwiches, with mustard. They seem too heavy now that I’m not in college.
You had me at eggplant… gonna definitely try this
Looks amazing! I’m definitely making this recipe ASAP! Where’s your go-to place for the seeded Italian bread?
I’m an eggplant-hater cooking for a tribe of eggplant-lovers, so I guess I’ll have to grudgingly bestow this upon them. With a nice bowl of cool cucumber soup to celebrate summer’s end.
BTW, the Viennetta cake video featured in your last newsletter was ahhhhsome. Best part: the shot of the garbage can at the end. Who among us wouldn’t dive right in there?
Let’s make a Viennetta at home, shall we?
There’s a New England sandwich shop chain called D’Angelo’s that does a wonderful vegetarian sandwich, full of things like sauteed peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and onions, and is topped with melted provolone. I like it with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and olives. I have started making it in my own kitchen and even Rich enjoys them. When we get grinders (that’s what we call them round these parts) we always get one veggie grinder and one eggplant parm. They hit the spot every time.
Delighted to see this recipe; I’m an eggplant acolyte.
Returning to scold myself for not remembering the wondrous sandwiches at Strip-T’s in Watertown. (The first comment reminded me of them.) Fried cauliflower, broccoli rabe, provolone, and pickled hot peppers. They also do a Japanese eggplant banh mi with crispy tofu, pickles and cilantro.
When I baked eggplant slices in olive oil (your recipe for eggplant with tomato relish .. yum) it stuck to my sheet pan. Next batch I used a sheet of parchment paper and olive oil and no sticking!
Reynold’s non-stick foil also works.
Looks amazing! We often cheat and buy the pre-breaded frozen eggplant cutlets at Trader Joe’s, bake them, and then use to assemble eggplant parm subs. They aren’t bad for frozen food, but these look so much better.
My favorite veggie sandwich lately is below. Looks simple but the combo of walnut butter, avocado, fontina, and lemon juice just work wonderfully together to give flavor to the veggies.
Homemade Viennetta (it’s in Italian, but you’ll undestand it perfectly):
Come up to Boston – you can’t go into a sub/roast beef shop here without finding eggplant parm sub on the menu! Though these look way better than what you usually get. And, I find the cook’s illustrated method of breading, then baking on a preheated, oiled baking sheet to work really well for crisp rounds that aren’t greasy.
Boston has Cutty’s, which I thought was phenomenal.
YES. Did you get their brown sugar cookies? Or their carrot salad? I love it there…
It’s been a few years so I don’t remember everything but we had a little bit of almost everything from the menu (they spoiled us) and it was exceptional. I will not miss it on my next trip.
We also found the CI method of baking eggplant on the oiled baking sheet to come out perfectly every time! You can also cook vast amounts on the trays
that freeze really well for future use:)
But have you had a really good eggplant parm sub in Boston? I’ve had probably 25 ranging from awful to decent but nothing outstanding like I would get in North Jersey. If you have faves, please share. (I d d get a recent tip on Emilios in Watertown that I’m planning to try first time tonight. . .)
I can’t wait to try this – it’s very similar to my favorite sandwich at an amazing Italian deli in Santa Cruz, California called Zoccoli’s. What makes theirs even more amazing is the addition of chopped Kalamata and green Greek olives and roasted red peppers in an oil & vinegar dressing, which soaks into the bread a little. They use Provolone but I actually prefer Jack cheese to that or Mozzarella.
My favorite vegetarian sandwich to make at home is red bell pepper strips, jalapeno strips, and onion strips, kind of like rajas but I also add carrot strips, coated with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted or grilled until soft and charred in places, piled onto a roll with tons of melted cheese. Sometimes I add a little tamari to the olive oil for even more flavor.
Wow! That sound wonderful…
I’m 12 weeks pregnant with twins and vegetables (unless they are pickled) are a battle for me but even the regular roasted eggplant sub sounds delicious. Definitely adding this recipe last minute to our dinner menu this week. Maybe twice.
Could you substitute zucchini?
I definitely think so. I did a bit on getting zucchini crispy in the oven in this recipe. I’d use them.
Looks like a lot of work, and in a hot kitchen too, but also looks super yummy. Thanks for a new take!
You forgot instructions to peel the eggplant.
ALWAYS peel the eggplant.
Lord have mercy. I just had lunch, but now I really want to eat this! My unexpected favorite sounds weird and gross, but it’s so good: two slices of toast, peanut butter on one piece and mayo on the other, with very ripe sliced tomatoes in between. I only eat it in late summer because, tomatoes.
i’m just chiming in to say: i would try your off-beat sandwich! true, it does sound suspicious, but as someone who has found herself in the bare cupboard predicament with laziness (and at times pennilessness!) standing in the way of going out to procure more appetizing provisions, well, i have concocted many a bizarrely successful sandwich/rice bowl/mush pile myself = )
PB with mayo! You are the first kindred spirit liking this combo. I’ve never tried tomatoes: my go-to is raisins/mayo/pb and sometimes carrot shavings. I will try tomato as they are still good here in CA.
Will also make the eggplant parm sub–never met an eggplant I didn’t like.
I haven’t properly deconstructed it to make at home yet, but a local “build your own pizza” place has a sandwich that’s herb focaccia with white sauce, a good scoop of olive tampenade, chopped roasted veggies (this was a lightbulb moment for me; they stay in the sandwich!), red onion, and mozzarella and then they send it for a spin in the brick oven to get all melty and crunchy. Definitely top 5 veggie sandwiches for me. As for eggplant parm subs, that’s diner food here in WNY. I think I’m going to be making your version at home soon, though. Eggplant is one of the things my MIL always says “but he never ate that when I cooked it!” about and I love it.
No need to go through the whole salting the eggplant slices process for this recipe?
Meant to add that you can salt if you’re a salter. I’m not, but there’s no harm in doing it here.
Nothing earth-shattering here, but adding a few chopped green olives to an egg salad takes the sandwich to another level. The briny component is a really welcome flavor punch. ‘Egg & olive’ sandwiches are the bomb! My latest twist on avocado toast: mash up a bunch of tofu with the ‘cado for a cool, fluffier spread consistency (and adds a little protein boost). Assuming you’ve tried the most flavorful eastern euro roasted red pepper [sandwich] spread: ajvar.
I think I gained two pounds just looking at the photo. My favorite eggplant dish is swooning imam. Lots of tomatoes and parsley, no breadcrumbs.
I am not a huge fan of eggplant, BUT this seems too good to pass up.
This looks delish!! I cannot wait to try these out.
Great vegetarian sandwiches: SABICH!
I believe there is a recipe for it in one of Ottolenghi’s books. Sabich is glorious.
My husband and I got the one from Taim after reading this in the spring and almost died after eating it. It was so over-the-top. And I just made eggplant parmesan melts; I’m hardly a pearl-clutcher over calories! Are they always that insane?
Deb, always a fan. Speaking of vegetarian sandwiches and speaking of eggplant, have you ever had a Sabich? Pronounced Sabiq, it’s an Israeli Iraqi mash up and it is generally agreed that even though it is street food, it’s way better made at home with just out-of-the-pan eggplant. It has many of the same ingredients as a Falafel sandwich, but a couple of life changing twists. Besides the tomato and cucumber salad and a tahini dressing, it consists of a layer of pan-fried eggplant, a swoosh of Amba (mango pickle), slices of hardboiled egg (I skip that but my husband likes it). And to top it off nothing beats a little zhoug–a mid-east green hot sauce; all packed in a pita, preferably a toasted one with a bit of char on the outside. Very very addictive!
Yes! I mentioned it in this comment, we were so excited because it contains everything we love but it was way over-the-top. Do you have a favorite place to get one?
No idea where to get one. I think there are a couple of places in NY that make a Sabich, but I’m in CA. I just make them myself. I like to heat the pita bread on a cast iron comal. All the parts are easy to make except for the mango pickle, or the Amba, which I think is the Israeli term. I’ve tried several, and my favorite by far is National brand Mango Pickle in Oil from Pakistan. Very cheap, maybe not so easy to source.
Taim in Soho makes an amazing sabich. I go every time I visit New York.
Where did you grow up in New Jersey?
I grew up in Somerset.
Eggplant parm is my favorite and I LOVE this idea without the bread top!!! Inevitably, the contents all squish out when biting into one with the top on. Making these immediately — well, will probably wait until dinner since it’s only 6:24am. ; )
I’ve been cooking eggplant rounds both breaded and non- breaded on my George Forman grill for years – quick and easy – a panini maker would work as well
My local (now defunct) de facto brunch spot used to do an amazing veggie sandwich: pesto, oven roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, pan fried halluomi, humus. So good! Might have to make them this weekend now . . .
Ah, this is such a classic and you did it so beautifully… #icanteven
It look so good!
I’m not the best person to ask about great vegetarian sandwiches, because I often forget sandwiches exist. But I love a baguette spread with brie and topped with figs and arugula, and in the cold winter I don’t think there’s anything better than a good grilled cheese.
I love eggplant, but eggplant parm usually buries the things that I love about eggplant (that deep, meaty flavor, the way it melts once it’s cooked) in a soggy casserole that’s somehow both watery and oily at the same time. I’m so glad I can count on you to fix all of these little food injustices.
I too wish eggplant parm subs were more widely available. There’s a local DC place, Bub and Pop’s (bubandpops.com, I have no affiliation) that has an ok eggplant sub, but their vegetarian sandwich glory is the Bulgarian feta (Sheep’s Milk Feta, Arugula, Eggplant Caponata, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onion, Caramelized Mushrooms, Grilled Zucchini, Grilled Fennel, Balsamic Vin Cotto, Hazelnut Gremolata, and Pecorino Romano). They make their own potato chips too! I also loved in Spain that a lot of tapas bars at bus terminals, airports, etc. would offer a slab of the tortilla espanola on delicious crusty bread.
from a fellow dc resident, who has always been curious about bub & pops, thank you for the encouragement…now i must go!
Philadelphian checking in: Eggplant parm is a grinder, not a hoagie, because it is a hot sandwich.
We take our sandwich names very seriously in this part of the East Coast.
I certainly don’t love eggplant, I’m not sure I even like it….but for some reason this looks like dinner tonight!! :P
I am making the breaded egg plant (known as aubergine here in the UK) right now, and the only problem is that they were so delicious when I tasted one, that I may not have enough left. Thanks!
Tandem Bakery in Portland Maine has the best vegetarian sandwiches – I think it’s in large part due to the amazing focaccia, but Briana is a genius. My favorite has cheese, pickled veggies (changes based on the season), cilantro, hard boiled eggs, and exciting mayo. I don’t get to eat it often enough, but it’s amaaaazing!
the eggplant parm is on every pizza/sub shop menu here (boston area), and for reasons still unknown to me also my dad’s specialty – the only thing he knew how to cook when he was in college & first out on his own. (who only knows how to make something like eggplant parm? i don’t know, but to this day it’s still pretty dang good :))
i grew up in RI and have lived in the boston area for fifteen years now, everything in both places is subs…except if it’s meatball, then it’s a grinder. i have no idea why. (you could order a meatball sub too, but i’ve never heard grinder used with anything other than meatball.) also, when i was living on the south shore awhile back, there was one place that had awesome subs, called spuckies. had never heard it before or since, but i guess at one point it was A Thing around here.
anyway, eggplant parm always gives me those fond nostalgic food feels. i’m totally on board with this version!
Best vegetarian sandwich ever is the Farmer’s Lunch from City Feed & Supply in Jamaica Plain (Boston). It is what happens when a British ploughman sandwich comes to New England. According to their menu, it is: New England extra sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sliced granny smith apple, City Feed pickled green tomato, locally-made grain mustard, red leaf letuce, on an Iggy’s baguette
100% agree on the Farmer’s Lunch – ate so many of those when I lived in JP. My ex ran the City Feed kitchen for a while and I tried to get the recipe for those pickled green tomatoes, but they’re outsourced. Every summer I tell myself I’m gonna pickle all the leftover unripe tomatoes so I can recreate that killer sandwich in Northern CA.
I’m excited to try this after a disappointing baked version from Cooks Illustrated. As for other veggie sandwiches, (besides yours!), I’ve enjoyed several of the ones from the Thug Kitchen cookbook including the black bean tortas and the savory tempeh and carrot sandwiches.
How long do you think the fried eggplant would last in the fridge, if we wanted to make a few meals out of this? Thank you!
It’s going to be hard for it to stay crisp long. More so if fried and lightly wrapped but it will get soft regardless, just perhaps more slowly.
Do you have any experience with eggplant becoming bitter? Many online sources say to sweat the slices before breading and frying. I have made this dish before and it has been delicious and another time when it was bitter and unpalatable. I’m not sure what I did differently.
Some eggplants — like some people, bah! — are just more bitter than others. Many people find salting eggplant to combat this. You can do so here before breading if you wish.
Good call, thanks! Great recipe.
The Owl House in Rochester used to have an AMAZING vegan banh mi made with house-smoked tofu. I cried a little when they took it of the menu … and I’m not even vegan. :*(
I love eggplant parmesan- this is a great idea.
My go-to veggie sandwich is caramelized zucchini jam (via food52), avocado, & a spritz of lemon juice on toasted sandwich bread. Veggies rock!
Simple sandwiches are my favourite – good bread, mayo, good summer tomatoes, salt and pepper, open faced. Possibly sliced hard cheese and basil but with good tomatoes and bread I hardly want to mess with it. Or avocado toast with lemon, salt and pepper. Or buttered toast with smashed boiled eggs, salt and pepper.
That said, I do find myself going back to good bread, mayo, sliced medium tofu drizzled with soy and lime, cilantro and cucumber slices. So good and no cooking involved. Avocado is good on this one too.
The husband and I made this last night. It was most delicious!
I’ve made this several times and absolutely love it! Usually with “naked” roasted eggplant, just to save time. I bet it’s great if you breaded and fried the eggplant as well.
I made the sauce as described, used a baguette, and used mozzarella that was in the brine (since it was easily available).
Dear Deb, I THINK I read that we should report problems with your newly upgraded site here, under Questions. Forgive me if I am wrong.
On my iphone, I have to manually go to your website to see the complete post. On the feed to which I subscribed many years ago, I see “Read the rest of >>>” which links nowhere. Below I see “” and below that “Read the Rest of More Recent Articles>>>”. This will actually take me to the current recipe. I so appreciate the time, brain cells and buckets of money you have invested in this upgrade. I appreciate the larger type face. I’ll get over the ads. But I am very sure you want it to function properly. Thank you for many years of pleasurable reading, and a boatload of foolproof, delicious, crowd-pleasing recipes!
Thanks, I can’t figure out why it is happening but I promise to fix it whenever I do. Glad you’re enjoying the new site. FWIW, there are the same number of ads on this design as there were on the old. (The ads in the newsletter you get, however, are awful and have nothing to do with me. We don’t place them or earn from them.)
Total yum!! I agree with you sometimes eggplant parmesan is too rich, and really just cheese on an eggplant canvas, but this looks like it doesn’t have that issue. Great balance!
A perennial favorite in my house:
Take the liquid from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes (if you add more oil to the tomatoes in the jar, it will re-infuse) and add some hot sauce. Toss cauliflower florets in it and roast them.
Serve on a roll with sun-dried tomatoes, greens (cooked are good; raw arugala or spinach work too) and whatever else you like. Garlic spread (toum) is good on it. Slivers of parmesan-ish cheese would probably be good on it. And I bet some sausage would be ok too if you didn’t want it vegetarian.
Your eggplant is so perfectly crisp! delicious!
looks great :) a few questions:
1. i would like to make enough sauce only for this recipe and i feel that 3/1/2 cups is too much? how much would b enough only for this dish?
2. and could i use challah instead? :)
You could use challah. I made half the sauce when I made mine and it was too little. Tomatoes come in 15- or 28-ounce cans so I write recipes that use one or the other. You might have a little extra here, but it shouldn’t be excessive. If you want only a tiny amount of sauce on each, halve it.
I’m 100 pc pro-eggplant. What’s not to love?! This sandwich looks terrific! What I wouldn’t give for one of these babies now – and I’m not even hungry… #rare
My favorite veggie sandwich was on the Winter menu at Taylor Gourmet here in DC (and I found the ingredients list online, to make sure I did it justice): crispy brussel sprouts, green onion aioli, pickled daikon & carrots, toasted cashews, spicy “BANG BANG” sauce [pretty sure that involved sriracha] and fresh cilantro and mint. It was funky and fish-sauce-y and delicious and stunk up my whole office.
thanks for the amazing site! My sister fed me this Rachel Ray recipe. It was so good I made it for a group and some said it was the best sandwich they’d ever had (we were on a sailboat in the SF Bay on a glorious day at the time, so hard to say if that factored in). Delicious and you roast the eggplant so you can tell yourself it’s healthy!
This recipe looks amazing – I completely agree with the essential nature of a seeded bread/roll to elevate the eggplant parm.
Favorite vegetarian/vegan sandwich here in Philadelphia: the tofu hoagie (really tofu banh-mi) at Fu-Wah mini-market in West Philly: marinated mildly spicy tofu, daikon, cilantro, fresh (hot!) jalapeños, pickled carrot, mayonnaise spread, on toasted roll.
So my favorite homemade sandwich is a roasted red pepper, goat cheese sandwich on a crispy sourdough english muffin with your pickled sandwich slaw. HOWEVER, you must roast the peppers yourself and store them in balsamic vinegar in the fridge.
Kinda like this:
My favorite restaurant sandwich is a truffle egg salad sandwich from Local Foods. Haven’t figured out exactly how to recreate it- hint hint. If you’re ever in Houston, you must try it!
My mid-year resolution is to feed my family eggplant and maybe even learn to like it myself.
One request: I don’t really know how web design works, but is it possible to have a “skip to recipe” button at the top of each recipe? I should be more organized and actually have these recipes written down somewhere, but I often find myself standing in my kitchen, prepping zucchini bread pancakes (for instance) from my phone screen. There’s a lot of scroll, scroll, scroll in my life. XOX
Okay! Either I owe you an apology, because “jump to recipe” was an actual option on this recipe, or, Dang! You’re fast! xox
There should be one. It’s right under the title of each post, or at least each post from the last couple months, and it says “JUMP TO RECIPE, COMMENTS”. You can click on either recipe or comments to get there first. (Boring details: all the older recipes on this site have to be recoded and once they are, it will work on all posts.)
Mmmm. I’m wary of eggplant but definitely willing to try this.
Cream cheese and olives, butter and lettuce/radish/cucumber are some of mine, although not the most healthy veggie options.
Deb, this has been one of the most fun posts lately thanks to your invitation to share our favorite veg sandwiches. I love all the cool new ideas!
This was wonderful. My husband and I were going to make eggplant sandwiches but tried this instead. It was absolutely incredible!
Best vegetarian sandwich is the Uncle Chucky at Court Street Grocers in Brooklyn: roasted cauliflower, pumpkin seed romesco, pickled fennel, red onion, and arugula on a seeded roll from Caputo’s bakery a few blocks east.
Actually all of CSG’s sandwiches are swoonworthy and worth a trip. And if you DO go, visit Caputo’s after to take home a phenomenal prosciutto bread (obviously not vegetarian).
This roasted cauliflower sandwich from G by Mike Isabella is amazing. http://plateonline.com/recipes/g-roasted-cauliflower-sandwich
I’ve made this several times and it’s delicious. I enjoy the squishy, slimy texture of cooked eggplant and roasted peppers, however, so if you aren’t, I might not recommend this- but the dressing is lovely!
Falafel is the ultimate veggie sandwich for me though.
Looks delicious… low carb too.. love it.
You change your blog look :)
I just read your yummy blueberry muffin recipe and I am wondering if it would work using a combo of almond flour and coconut flour if I want to keep the recipe wheat free? I would love to try it.
I made this the other day and even my veggie-cautious husband loved it. Note for people – it works beautifully without the bread, should you have many eggplants and no suitable bread in the house :-))
This was delicious, but I have to say I don’t know if it’s worth all of the effort. I might just order it the next time we get pizza. BTW, this was the third of your recipes I made this weekend – chana masala (which I think I’m also going to leave to the professionals) and the cocoa brownies, which were a total game changer.
This looks awesome! Eggplant Parm is my favorite. Our neighborhood pizza place has an amazing version that I am addicted to – I only get it sporadically though as it is enormous. My favorite vegetarian sandwich, however, has to be the one that I had at a bakery near where I live (On the Rise near Cleveland) – it was on an amazing rustic baguette (their bread is the best) spread with ramp pesto, burrata, sunflower seeds, and arugula. They haven’t made it this year, and since ramp season is way over I don’t expect to see it again. However, I recreate it when I can with in-season ingredients.
You posted this recipe the day after my husband requested eggplant parm for dinner! I made this Sunday night & we both agreed we prefer it to the traditional parm with pasta combo. It’s not overly sauced or overly cheesed & you can really taste the eggplant. Served it with some simple fresh greens, a squeeze of lemon & olive oil. Perfect lazy summer dinner. Thank you!
I made the melts for dinner and they came out amazing! My husband and 5 year old son (who’s quiet picky and clever on detecting vegetables in his dishes) could not get enough. What an amazing recipe! I’ve been following your blog for a while, and recommend it to all my friends who like/or are slightly interested to cook, and you are always a hit. Good Job!
I love your recipes, every single one has been a major hit, but what I love even more is your vocabulary. My inner word nerd is thrilled every time I read your blog.
I made this for lunch today – with ‘aubergines’ from the garden. Quite ‘lazily’ I decided to bake the slices naked (without the crumb, etc).
On some gorgeous artisan bread rolls – this lunch was so delicious – and very satisfying. I think our home grown ‘eggplant’ are always a little bitter – but no sign of this came through. I shall repeat as soon as we have more garden produce available (or I’ll cheat, and buy some!). Really recommended!!
hello ! these look great – i liked your tip about doing 1/2 nice olive oil and 1/2 of a more standard olive oil… i look forward to trying this out next time i fry. do you reuse your oils for frying things like this? and if so – how many uses do you give them? thanks !
oops – this should read: 1/2 nice olive oil and 1/2 of a more standard oil (not standard olive oil!)
I should but don’t fry often enough. If I ever expect to use it again within a week, I strain it first.
I made this, with grilled eggplant: https://it.pinterest.com/pin/225391156331372830/
There used to be a mushroom reuben on the menu at G, a restaurant in DC that does sandwiches during day time. They don’t have it on the menu anymore, but it was bomb!
No better summer sandwich than a big ol’ juicy sliced tomato with mayo, S & P on sturdy white bread. Nope, none better.
Made this tonight and it came out amazing! Subbed French baguette for convenience sake. Baked the eggplant. Came out super delicious!
This was an overall excellent recipe. Though, I think I either didn’t season enough my flour or just missed the breading on the eggplants. They turned out kind of… unflavourfull? I will definitely give this one another try, but without breading the eggplants or by frying them (depending on how I feel healthy on that day) ! :) Thanks again Deb, your recipes are awesome.
So delicious!! Amazing dinner and plenty for leftovers. Thanks, love all your recipes!
Don’t you need to sweat the moisture from the eggplant?
I don’t salt eggplant but if you prefer to salt, drain and blot it first for flavor, you can do so here.
This is definitely on the week’s menu. I have a ball of burrata languishing in my fridge. Do you think I could sub it for the sliced mozzarella? Thanks, Deb
What is the best type of mozzarella to use for this?
A dry-packed one so it’s not watery when it melts.
good, easy and fast! ;-)
oh my goodness, why has this not been in my life until now! My mother in law makes incredible melanzane parmigiana but I like the addition of bread. Yum
I follow a lot of food blogs and I’ve never written “fan” mail before, but I have to tell you that you are the BEST! I love 99.9% of your recipes. They are so well written and the stories that go with them are so helpful. I have your first cookbook and now it looks like I will be buying another. Thanks for all the great recipes and for the beautiful photography. I am truly a FAN!!
This recipe doesn’t specify if it’s fresh mozzarella or the fattier aged version.
The photo looks like fresh, but I’d like to know for sure!
I’ve never heard of one being fattier than the other but in general, unless I’m eating the mozzarella fresh in a salad, I don’t use water-packed, but dry-packed (or it doesn’t melt nicely).
I made these tonight and I almost cried with joy at how tasty they were. Definitely a huge eggplant lover here and I’ve never bothered to salt! Had it with brine soaked mozzarella (did not see comment about dry packed) and had no problems with it melting by the way. I made enough for myself and now have extra sauce so guess I’ll just have to repeat this ;)
Looks awesome – we’re going to do eggplant parm for next week’s podcast. You’re open face sandwich idea is such a great idea! Growing up on Long Island, it was kinda the same deal-unfortunately many subs were super breads on hoagie rolls and lost the sauce in all the bread. Do you skip the eggplant salting on purpose / milk or do you find it isn’t really necessary? – Michael Heit of Food & Fury Podcast
Was a big hit even without the bread and a modified tomato layer made with tomato paste! Thanks for a great idea Deb!
This recipe was amazing! My boyfriend and I LOVED it. Apart from just using our favorite sauce from Trader Joes, I followed the recipe exactly and baked the eggplant. The bread was perfectly crispy- not soggy at all. We will definitely be making this again! Thank you!
I recommend against using baguette unless your loaf is unusually flat. I loaded up my baguette segments only to have the little rolly pollies tip over when I put them in the oven. Trying to reassemble the toasts in close proximity to broiler heat was not super fun. Even the wonky ones were delicious though!
Um, I am making this tomorrow! I just bought a small eggplant as I’m the only one in our immediate family who likes it. Guess I’ll have to surprise my mom and grandmother with some fried eggplant!
I am in full agreement with you on beautiful, crispy Eggplant Parmesan being made soggy under tomato sauce, especially when stacked. What’s the point of all that messing with milk, eggs, crumbs, plus the browning to a crisp (I baked). The last time I served the dish I vowed to never do it again. And now we have a Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan to do justice to all ingredients, plus some sausage for protein, to take its place and I can’t wait to make it. The fact it can be prepared in advance is a BIG PLUS for busy cooks. Many, many thanks.
I am hosting a dinner party for 30 and plan to serve your lasagna bolognese. Would this be a good accompaniment for my vegetarian friends? Can the eggplant be made ahead and then assembled and placed in the oven? I am serving a kamut pasta and leeks dish as well. Thanks
Absolutely, or you could also make these without meat: https://smittenkitchen.com/2019/09/stuffed-eggplant-parmesan/
Fresh mozzarella or low moisture regular, like pizza cheese?
I use lower moisture — mozzarella but not packed in water.
I tried the best combination of eggplant and parmesan in Puglia, Italy!