I’m trying to ease my family into a more plant based diet, and one vegetable I seem to gravitate toward often is eggplant (my husband isn’t a fan). I was trying to come up with an inventive way for all of us to enjoy it when I whipped up this dinner. 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). This would be fantastic on a ciabatta roll or even with a side of pasta. It will make you 4 adult sized “sandwiches”.
Dairy Free Eggplant “Sandwiches” with Avocado & Tomato
For the eggplant:
1 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
2 avocados, thinly sliced
2 ripe tomatoes
3/4 cup dairy free Italian breadcrumbs (you can also use Panko breadcrumbs and season them)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup or so of flour for dusting
Salt and pepper
For the pesto:
1 large handful of basil
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
a pinch or two of nutritional yeast (I like two pinches, but for some that’s too strong)
2 tablespoons pine nuts (this is optional. If you are feeding someone with a nut allergy, leave these out until the end. I scoop some out for my son before adding the nuts!)
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat your oven to 425°F and spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Place 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 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 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:
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. Yummy!