Hey there! Don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but here at the Jersey shore we've been experiencing some major gloomy and chilly weather for this time of year. Kinda makes it tough to get into cooking that feels more, well yeah, dare I say it - like Summer! I recently purchased Love and Lemons awesome new cookbook, and looking at all those great and colorful recipes made me long for warm weather, being outdoors and grilling something. I was begging for sunshine!
Inspired by the book, I decided to make their 'crispy baked eggplant' recipe. The breading piqued my interest right away because it doesn't call for your ordinary breadcrumbs, but instead, for all kinds of good stuff like hemp, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast, which gives the eggplant so much flavor when baked.
You can use this eggplant recipe in lots of dishes, like mixed with roasted sweet potatoes and kale, or like in this post, adding it to a roast beef sammich. The combo of eggplant, roast beef, mozzarella and hot cherry peppers tastes silken, rich and spicy. I frankly cannot get enough of it! Enjoy!
Spicy Roast Beef Sandwich with Breaded Eggplant, Mozzarella and Cherry Peppers
for the sandwich
4-5 slices of roast beef (I got the salt and pepper kind from whole foods)
2 thin slices of fresh mozzarella
2 eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
5 cherry peppers, the sliced kind in a jar
2 boston bibb lettuce leaves
a slash of good mayo, I only use Hellman's
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of water
2 slices of bread, you can use sprouted, white whole or whole wheat for that matter
for the breading
1/3 cup of hemp seeds
1tablespoons nutritional yeast
1tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/2 garlic clove
1/3 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of grated sheep's milk pecorino
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Note : This breading makes enough for at least 4-5 slices of eggplant
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the eggplant in 1/4 inch thick slices, lay on a baking sheet lined with paper towel, and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for a good 30 minutes and pat dry occasionally.
In a food processor pulse all of the breading ingredients and then transfer to a plate.
In a bowl whisk egg and water and dip the eggplant slices, then dip in the breading mixture. This breading doesn't stick as easy as your conventional breading, so make sure you spread it around a bit. Place slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes. Let the slices cool down to room temperature on cooling rack.
Once the eggplant slices are cooled, toast your bread. Spread the mayo on one slice, add 2 eggplant slices. Add the lettuce, then roast beef, followed by the mozzarella and cherry peppers. Voila!