So I’m not big on eggplant – there is just something so wrong about the texture. When it’s cooked it’s so mushy that I just can’t take it. I’m not normally a texture freak, but this beautiful veg just doesn’t do it for me. And it is so pretty right? That gorgeous purple! But! A coworker who just returned from the Peace Corps in Georgia (the country :) ) made eggplant rolls for a baby shower at work. She thought of me because they are vegetarian, because of the mayo, and yes I tried it. I’m sorry, sometimes I just gotta give in. And I am so glad I did, because it was amazing. So of course I needed to make some for myself! But the mayo? Uhm, no. So here is my vegan and gluten-free take on a Georgian appetizer – Healthy Eggplant Sandwich.
“I received free samples of Sabra Spreads mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Oh eggplant. I don’t know why you have to be so beautiful, yet so weird. And that really is the case – just a plain ole weird veggie. Bitter and mushy when cooked or roasted, it’s a little off-putting, even for me. But deep-fried? Oh man! The best – but what isn’t when fried and covered in batter and cheese? Well, it’s time to healthify this veggie for me, and make this awesome little Georgian eggplant roll appetizer into something more hearty, healthy, and lunchable – a sandwich! I usually only eat real lunch food like wraps and sandwiches when I am at my SILs house because she buys all the awesome ingredients for them – Sabra hummus included. But Sabra has a new line of Spreads – two of them vegan, thank you Sabra! – are the perfect way to make this fatty and fattening traditional appetizer roll into a healthy and delicious lunch! The Spreads have 75% (!!) less fat than mayo which is perfect for this appetizer because who needs all that? The Spreads are also full of the delicious hummus flavor you have come to love and expect from Sabra, and are just totally freaking convenient. No big tub to haul out when your getting all your ingredients ready. Just a cute squeeze bottle! You have GOT to give these new Spreads a try! It seriously took everything I had not to just break out some pita chips and start spreading the Spread on those instead of making the sandwich!
So the eggplant roll that my coworker made was delicious. And fatty – you could taste it in the oil flavor of the eggplant and in the mayo filling, which just means yum to the max! Well, when I decided to do this sandwich contest I knew that this was going to be the first recipe I made, because I really wanted to try them at home, but I needed a mayo replacement and this hummus spread was the perfect thing to take this fatty roll into an amazing and healthy meal! First thing is to get the eggplant sliced into 1/4 inch slabs and salting them – now, if you read my blog I never use salt in my recipes. Mainly because why add it in the recipe if your going to use it once it’s dished up? So this step was hard for me to do, but since I didn’t want the excess moisture or bitterness it’s necessary. While the eggplant is doing it’s thing add the “filling” ingredients to a small food processor and let whirl away until creamy. Slice a little red onion and set aside. Once the eggplant is ready use paper towels to wipe all the salt and moisture off. Heat a sauté pan with just a little olive oil then season the eggplant with a little garlic season blend then brown the slabs on each side. Then assemble the sandwiches, slice them up, and eat!
Healthy Eggplant Sandwich,
1 Eggplant, sliced
Garlic & Herb Blend
Red Onion, few slices
Spinach, few leaves
1 Tomato, sliced
2 Slices Gluten-Free Bread
3 Tbsp Sabra Garlic Herb Spread
1 Tbsp Sabra Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Spread
1/2 C Walnuts
1 Small Handful Cilantro
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1. Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slabs. Salt both sides of the eggplant and let sit on a plate.
2. In a small food processor dump all the filling ingredients except the Spreads. Blend until chunky then add the Spreads and blend until smooth.
3. Wipe all moisture and salt off the eggplant.
4. Heat a sauté pan with a little oil. Sprinkle garlic seasoning blend over slabs.
5. Brown eggplant on both sides then set aside.
6. Toast bread then lay on a plate and spread a little filling over each slice.
7. Lay two eggplants down one side then top with onions, tomato, and spinach.
8. Lay other half of bread on top of veg then slice.