Inspired by the glorious Berenjenas from Pueblo, Costa Mesa – here is my version of the amazing Vegan Eggplant Sandwich!
Let’s do a mental exercise, shall we?
Imagine a sandwich in front of you. Not too impressive looking, just a sandwich. You take it in your hands and notice how incredibly soft the bread is, yet the crust is incredibly crisp. Your mouth begins to water. You take a bite and distinctly notice the fragrance of the Brioche bread in your hands – that sweet smell of yeast, eggs and things I always imagined heaven would smell like – and hear the crunch of the bread breaking apart.
Your teeth sinks into the crisp crust only to be met with pillow-like softness beneath. Then some vegetables but we don’t truly care about that, do we? Is that mayo? What’s that flavour? And before you’ve had time to figure that out, you hit a sharp crisp patty – the breading is good! And while your palette is just expecting a slice of eggplant, you realise that you’re eating eggplant like you’ve never experienced before – there’s an eggplant patty that’s got the bite of onions, jalapenos and garlic – it’s sharp, sweet, spicy, creamy, soft, smokey and extremely interesting.
You sit back and chew what you managed to catch in your mouth – enjoying as the flavours and textures mingle into a delightfully harmonious explosion! And you rush back into another bite. And then another…
That’s what it feels like to eat this Eggplant Sandwich! If you ever regretted turning Vegetarian/Vegan, don’t! This sandwich will make it worth it all!
You can make the patty mix well ahead of time and bake the bread – the awesome No-Knead Brioche loaf from Elegant Meraki. It’s my go-to Brioche recipe that, though takes about 2 days to make, is shockingly easy. Most of the work simply involves letting the dough rest! Check out her blog and you’ll find breads and pastries you’ve never heard of – she’s the most gifted and passionate baker I know!
The patty is cooked thrice – once, to roast the eggplant. Two, to shape the patty by searing the ends. And finally, breaded and fried. While I believe deep-frying would give the best results, I think shallow frying also did just as good.
Now enough talk! Let’s go make us some amazing Eggplant Sandwich!
- I get Roasted Garlic Breadcrumbs from Kroger. If you can’t find them where you are, use regular breadcrumbs seasoned with garlic powder/garlic + Italian seasoning.
- While it may seem like it takes forever to make these, you can always make them ahead of when you need them. In which case, it’s just a matter of frying up the breaded patties before lunch.
- For the sauce, I used Legion of Spice’s Bayou Black seasoning. It’s made of Sweet Paprika, 5 peppercorn Mix, Smoked Spanish Paprika, Garlic, Oregano, Thyme, Onion, Basil, Cayenne, Aji Amarillo, Cumin and Mediterranean Sea Salt. It’s pretty amazing, if you can get your hands on it. Otherwise, try to find a similar spice blend and use it to flavour your mayo/sour cream/ coconut cream.