Crispy eggplant sandwiches with tomato-tarragon relish and herb mayo—A hearty hand-held that is every bit as satisfying as the meaty stuff.
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 2 medium globe eggplants, trimmed and cut lengthwise into ½-inch planks
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic cloves
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. lower-sodium tamari
- 1 tsp. granulated sweetener of choice (white sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar)
- 1½ Tbsp. fresh chopped tarragon
- 2 Tbsp. avocado oil mayonnaise (We used Primal Kitchen)
- 4 slices mozzarella cheese
- 4 (6") sourdough baguettes, halved lengthwise
- Lettuce for garnish (romaine, arugula, or frisée)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Place an oven-safe rack over a large rimmed baking sheet covered with foil. Lightly spray rack with cooking spray.
- Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, ¼ tsp. each of the salt and black pepper in a wide-rimmed bowl. Place egg and 1 Tbsp. water in a separate bowl; whisk to combine.
- Dunk each slice of eggplant in egg mixture, then in bread crumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking rack. Lightly coat eggplant slices with cooking spray. Bake at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add shallots and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add tomatoes, vinegar, tamari, sweetener of choice, and remaining ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Simmer over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes, until mixture reduces and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbsp. of the tarragon.
- Combine mayonnaise and remaining ½ Tbsp. tarragon in a small bowl; stir well.
- To assemble sandwiches, divide eggplant evenly among the bottom half of 4 sliced baguette rolls. Top each with 1 slice mozzarella cheese. Broil bottom half of sandwich for 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese melts. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly onto other half of each baguette. Top each sandwich evenly with tomato-tarragon relish and lettuce, if desired.
Jamie Vespa, MS, RD, LD/N, is a former TGH dietitian who is now assistant nutrition editor at Cooking Light magazine. You can find more of her recipes on TGH Health News and on her blog, Dishing Out Health.