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Eggplant Sandwiches on Baby Greens with
Tomato-Balsamic Vinaigrette

From From the Earth to the Table by John Ash
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 6 servings


Wine Suggestion

A grassy herbal Sauvignon Blanc, a soft, fruity Cabernet, a Cabernet Franc or a good Chianti.


Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into twelve 1-inch thick slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 6 slices
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 12 anchovy fillets, rinsed and dried
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko or other dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, and one egg white, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 cups savory baby greens, such as arugula, frisée, red mustard, kale and spinach
  • Tomato-Balsamic Vinaigrette (see recipe)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until lightly brown and tender, about 20 minutes.

Arrange the mozzarella slices on six of the eggplant slices. On a cutting board, coarsely chop the basil and anchovy together and sprinkle over the cheese. Top with a second eggplant slice to form a sandwich.

Combine the breadcrumbs and walnuts. Dredge the sandwiches in flour. Dip them in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture. The sandwiches may be prepared at this point and kept loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

Add vegetable oil to a sauté pan to a depth of ½ inch. Heat oil to 350°F. In batches, sauté the sandwiches in a single layer, turning once to brown both sides. This will take only a few minutes per side. As they are done, remove them to paper towels to drain. Keep warm. These sandwiches may be cooked up to 4 hours in advance and reheated in the oven at serving time.

To serve, toss the greens with a little of the vinaigrette and serve the hot eggplant sandwiches on a bed of the lightly dressed greens. Scatter with deep-fried capers and rosemary leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.

Tomato-Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes, minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients, and season to taste. Allow to stand at least 1 hour before using.



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