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Monday, July 22, 2013

Eggplant "Sandwiches"

 This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of Real Simple. 2010. As in, three years ago. In the age of the Internet, this isn’t a big deal, since we can now look up recipes from decades ago. However, I ripped this recipe out of the magazine three years ago and have been toting it around in my recipe files ever since! Considering I flip through my files once a week when I do my menu-planning, it’s rather amazing how many times I looked at this recipe before I finally pulled it from the stack and made it!
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Though these sandwiches are worth the wait, I’m kicking myself for not making them years ago. Eggplant, pan-fried in panko breadcrumbs, serves as the bread in these, which are sandwiched around tomato, spinach (or romaine), basil, and goat cheese. You’re best off using a knife and fork to eat these, and I don’t recommend trying to take them on a picnic, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be delighted by this unique take on sandwiches!

One Year Ago: Ginger Bars
Two Years Ago: Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Spinach over Goat Cheese Polenta
Three Years Ago: Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Eggplant "Sandwiches"
from Real Simple July 2010

-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-2 large eggs, beaten
-1 cup panko bread crumbs
-1 medium eggplant (1-1 1/2 pounds), cut into eight 1/2-inch thick rounds
-1/2 cup canola oil
-kosher salt
-2 medium tomatoes, sliced
-1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
-4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled

1. Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip the eggplant slices in the flour, then in the eggs (letting any excess drip off), and finally in the bread crumbs, pressing gently to help them adhere.
2. Heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook half the eggplant until golden brown and crisp, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining oil and eggplant. Sprinkle the hot eggplant with 1/2 tsp salt.
3. Layer the eggplant, spinach, tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese to form 4 "sandwiches", with the eggplant on the top and bottom of each stack. Serve immediately.