On rainy days, don’t you just feel like indulging. Even in the summertime, when it’s super HOT, rainy days feel just as cozy as rainy days in the fall. When I say the word fall, my heart skips a beat. only 49 more days left until Autumn. For the longest, fall was always my favorite season, and still is. Every year, I’m always fascinated by the bright colors of the leaves on the trees and how they naturally bleed into the next color so perfectly. Ok, let’s move on because I could get VERY carried away talking about the fall and all of its glory. And this post is about indulging and fried food, but still healthy-ish, so you won’t feel as guilty. Eggplant Sandwiches with Roasted Tomatoes, to be specific. Yummy, crispy and FRIED deliciousness.
Eggplant season is upon us and one of my favorite ways to utilize it is in a sandwich. This sandwich is so yummy and packs a bunch of flavor! I use a medium sized eggplant and slice them into thin discs. About 1/4 inch thick or a little thinner. I love using a mandolin for this. Also, when they are sliced thin, they get even crispier when fried.
In place of tomato sauce, I roast cherry tomatoes until they blister and become deliciously sweet. I love the burst of bright flavor and sweet acidity when biting into the sandwich.
How to roast tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- On a sheet pan, add cherry tomatoes and fresh garlic to a sheet pan.
- Drizzle olive oil and season with salt, pepper, thyme & oregano. Toss to combine.
- Roast for 25-30 minutes until the skins have blistered and they are lightly golden.
The eggplant discs gets dredged in a simple egg batter first and then dropped into a dry mixture that contains breadcrumbs, flour & corn starch. I love the addition of cornstarch, really makes for an extra crisp coating. I use ciabatta bread for this sandwich, but you can use whatever bread you have on hand. brioche buns are also delicious. Eggplant sandwiches with roasted tomatoes are the ultimate comforting summer lunch. Especially on a rainy day.
Eggplant Sandwiches with Roasted Tomatoes
- Sheet pan with a wire rack (9×13)
- Mixing Bowls
- 1.5 qt Saucepan
- 16 oz assorted cherry tomatoes
- 4 cloves whole garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1+¼ cup neutral oil for frying
- 1 medium eggplant
- ½ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp water
- 6 ciabatta bread rolls toasted
- Mozzarella slices
- Basil Leaves
- Grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- Balsamic glaze
- Preheat your oven to 400°
- On a sheet pan, add your tomatoes and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. Toss to combine. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes blister and are lightly brown.
- Slice the eggplant into thin discs. About ¼ inch thick or thinner. I used a mandoline for my slices.
- In a bowl, add breadcrumbs, flour and cornstarch. Whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk your egg and add water to thin it out a bit.
- First, dip your eggplant into the egg mixture and then the dry mixture. Make sure to coat both sides evenly. Dust off the excess.
- Add the oil to your saucepan on turn the heat on to medium-low. Heat the oil to about 350°
- Fry the eggplant in batches of 3 for about 3 minutes on each side. Lay on a cooling rack to drain off any excess oil. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper as soon as they're out of the oil.
- First add a few fried eggplant slices to the bottom of the toasted ciabatta roll. Next add a few pieces of fresh basil and slices of mozzarella. Then add a heaping spoon of roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano and finish with balsamic drizzle. Top the sandwich with the other half of your ciabatta bread. ENJOY!
- I prefer a thin slice of eggplant, about 1/4 inch or a bit thinner. This is easier to achieve in you have a mandoline. A thinner eggplant results in a crispier texture.
- The addition of cornstarch in the flour mixture makes for a crunchier coating.
- You can toast the ciabatta rolls in the oven while the tomatoes are roasting away. Be sure to toast the bread, when the tomatoes are almost done so your bread stays warm. You can also use a traditional toaster.
- Balsamic glaze can be found in the oil/vinegar isle section of your grocery store.