Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aubergine Adventures

Still on that mission to master eggplant. It's so pretty...it's so weird. I need to be able to cook eggplant in a way that tastes good to the whole family. I don't have a rational reason for this. I just wanna.

I think we've finally found a recipe we all like. I say, "think" because the man had a pretty bad head cold when we had this, and couldn't taste anything. The kids loved it though, and I loved it. It's nice enough and yummy enough I'd serve it to company. In fact, I think it would serve as a nice substitution for hamburgers at a barbecue for my non-meat eating friends.

"Eggplant Torta Sandwich
Marinated Eggplant
1 lb eggplant, preferably small, young eggplant
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, seeds removed
1 cup refried beans
2 ripe red tomatoes, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch clices
1/2 lb shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce
4 pickled jalapeno peppers, sliced very thinly
1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
4 crusty French or rustic-style sandwich rolls

1. Prepare the eggplant first. Slice it lengthwise, about 1/4 inch thick, place in a colander above a sink and lightly salt with kosher salt, if desired. Let the eggplant soften and drain for 30 minutes. While the eggplant drains, prepare the marinade by whisking together the lime juice, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, oregano and cumin. Add the drained eggplant, coat the slices with marinade and let stand for 10 minutes, turning the slices occasionally.
Heat the oven to 375F. When ready to roast the eggplant, lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet and spread with a layer of eggplant, trying not to overlap the slices too much. Brush each side generously with the marinade and roast for 10 to 12 minutes, slipping each slice and roasting for another 10 minutes until the eggplant is tender. remove from the oven and wrap in foil to keep the eggplant warm.

2. To make the chipotle mayonnaise, pulse the vegan mayonnaise and chipotle peppers in a food processor until smooth. Warm the refried beans either in the microwave or on a stovetop, adding a little water if necessary to creat a spreadable consistency. Have ready the tomatoes, avocado, lettuce and red onion rings.

3. Slice each sandwich roll in half horizontally, and, if desired, remove some of the bread inside to allow more room for the filling. Toast or grill each roll half until hot. Assemble sandwich by spreading the inside of a roll with chipotle mayonnaise, then topping that with the refried beans. Stack on the bottom half a generous layer each of eggplant, tomato, avocado, shredded lettuce, jalapeno and some onions. Top with the upper half of the roll. Slice each sandwich in half and serve immediately."

My tweaks:
  • I didn't use vegan mayo, because Best Foods is all some of us will eat around here. Instead of putting chipotle peppers in the mayo (I couldn't find them) I added chili powder & a little cumin. Because I love cumin. 
  • I didn't put jalapeƱos, because I forgot. 
  • I didn't bother to warm the beans.
  • I added a slice of pepper jack to each sandwich, mostly because I have a cheese addiction.
Not pretty, but pretty delish.

While the once a week meatlessness is going well, it's just a minor thing. I'm very excited for tomorrow...we're getting vinyl energy efficient windows. That's a serious energy conserver. Details to come...


  1. following you from the Green Blog Hop! i would love a follow back :) this sounds delicious!



  2. Thanks so much! Following you back! (my hubs is retired USMC, btw) :)

  3. Hi there! I am following you from the Green Blog Hop! Please stop on by! Have a wonderful day!

  4. Thanks for following the green blog hop!


  5. Following you from the green blog hop! I also want to be able to cook eggplant in such a way that my whole family enjoys, so far the only luck I have had is with the traditional eggplant parm, but I get sick of it pretty quickly. I will have to give your recipe a try.

    I would love it if you would stop by my blog: www.mommymadegreen.com