I'm trying to ease my family into a more plant based diet, and these eggplant sandwiches make it a delicious transition. Eggplant is a vegetable that I gravitate towards often, but my husband isn't a fan. I was trying to come up with an inventive way for all of us to enjoy it, and came up with this delicious recipe. The result was surprisingly satisfying, fresh as could be, and it earned me "that was tasty and interesting" from the Mr. (much better than the usual response, AND his plate was left clean).
I like to serve these eggplant sandwiches with a side of pasta and a small side salad. The men in my house like to top the eggplant with a touch of the marinara from the pasta, but I enjoy it as-is. It's also great served on a warm ciabatta roll for a vegetarian sandwich. I usually enjoy mine with just a side salad to keep things lower carb.
You can easily double this recipe if you're meal prepping or would like leftovers for lunch the next day. If you're going to be saving this to eat at a later date you'll want to store this unassembled. Store your eggplant in a separate container, and if you'd like to reheat it so it's crispy I'd recommend doing it in the oven or air fryer on 325°F for 5-7 minutes (or until heated through). When you're ready to eat it you can heat up your eggplant, smear it with your pesto during the last two or three minutes of cooking, then top with the tomatoes and freshly sliced avocado.
Eggplant Sandwiches with Avocado & Tomato
- 1 large eggplant peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 avocados thinly sliced
- 2 tomatoes
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs dairy-free, gluten-free if needed
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- ½ all purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto:
- 1 cup basil chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoon olive oil good quality
- ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp pine nuts optional
- Juice of ½ lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425°F and spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
- Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs on three separate dishes good for dredging your eggplant. Dip the eggplant first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs, covering all sides. Place on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
- When all of the eggplant slices are coated, pop them in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden, flipping halfway through.
- While your eggplant is cooking, put all of the ingredients for your pesto (except the salt and pepper) into a food processor and blend well. Give it a taste before seasoning with salt and pepper, because the nutritional yeast can be on the salty side. It should end up looking something like this:
- When your eggplant is done cooking, lay one piece on a plate. Smother a bit of pesto on top of the eggplant, then layer with sliced tomatoes, then avocados.
- Top with a grind or two of freshly ground pepper, then top with another slice of eggplant. Serve it with a nice side of mixed field greens or a salad.