Eggplant & Zucchini “Sandwiches”


Our garden was very bountiful this year, and although almost every other plant else has finished for the season, we are still picking eggplants. Whatever is in our soil here in Umbria apparently works well for eggplants as it is one plant that we can count on year to year. I love using eggplant in my kitchen, and luckily both my husband and I love it and never tire of it. In last month’s La Cucina Italiana magazine, there was a photo on the cover for eggplant sandwiches that caught my attention.

Recently, I picked four nice sized eggplant and a handful of small zucchini and then sandwiched grated zucchini mixed with cheese between two slices of eggplant. The eggplant sandwiches were then dipped in an egg wash and seasoned breadcrumbs and baked until golden brown. Although you could serve this dish with a spicy tomato sauce, I chose to use up fresh tomatoes from my garden instead, making a garlicky tomato relish. These sandwiches are great served warm or at room temperature, and could be either an appetizer or a vegetable side dish.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2015

Eggplant & Zucchini "Sandwiches"

Ingredients:

  • 3 Medium Sized Eggplants
  • 2 Medium Zucchini, Grated
  • 3/4 Cup Grated Fontina Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Capers, Chopped
  • Egg Wash & Breading:
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley

Tomato Relish:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Diced Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Extra:

  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with foil, and cut the eggplants crosswise into 1/2 inch slices.
  3. Brush the baking sheets with oil, then lay the slices side by side.
  4. Brush the tops of the eggplant and then bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  6. In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the grated zucchini until wilted over medium heat, about 3 minutes.
  7. Place the zucchini in a bowl and cool to room temperature.
  8. Add the cheese, capers, salt and pepper to the zucchini, and mix well.
  9. Matching equal sized slices of eggplant, spoon the zucchini mixture over one slice, then cover with an equal sized slice of eggplant.
  10. Continue to fill and match the rest of the eggplant.
  11. Beat the eggs with a tablespoon of water until foamy in a bowl.
  12. In a second bowl, place the breadcrumbs, oregano, salt, pepper, and parsley and mix well.
  13. Dip each eggplant sandwich first in the egg wash, and then in the breadcrumbs and place on foil lined baking sheets that have been lightly brushed with olive oil.
  14. Continue to coat all of the sandwiches and place on the prepared baking sheets.
  15. Lightly spray the eggplants with olive oil spray, and then bake for 10 minutes.
  16. Carefully turn, and bake another 5 minutes or until both sides are golden brown and crispy.
  17. While the eggplant sandwiches are baking, mix together the ingredients for the tomato relish.
  18. Serve the eggplant on a platter with the relish spooned on top, or in a separate bowl.