This Mediterranean eggplant sandwich is all vegan with generous layers of muhammara, fried eggplant, sauerkraut, and more! Perfect for on-the-go lunches and picnics. A few simple tricks will take this delicious sandwich to the next level!
- 3 tablespoons muhammara (See Notes)
- 1/2 eggplant
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (to pan-fry eggplants)
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 2 slices sourdough bread loaf
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (to toast the bread)
- 1/2 clove of raw garlic
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (to drizzle)
- 3 tablespoons sauerkraut
- 5 pickled cucumber slices
- few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
Pan Fry the Eggplant:
- Peel (or half-peel) the eggplant and slice into ½-inch thick rounds. Place a large skillet on medium heat and warm the olive oil. Spread the eggplant slices onto the skillet in a single layer, season with salt, and pan-fry for about 5 minutes on each side. See notes if you prefer roasting instead.
Toast & Flavor the Bread:
- Turn the stove to medium-high and spread olive oil onto a large pan. Place the slices of bread into the pan and toast until golden, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Once the bread is toasted, rub a halved clove of raw garlic onto the sides facing in.
Build the Sandwich:
- Layer the muhammara, fried eggplant, drizzles of olive oil and pomegranate molasses, sauerkraut, pickles, and chopped cilantro.
- Cover the sandwich with parchment paper or aluminum foil and cut it in half. Then place it into a container or Ziploc bag to take on the go. Bon appétit!
- If making this recipe ahead, store each ingredient (e.g. muhammara, fried eggplant) separately in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days—or freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, toast the bread and build the sandwich right before enjoying it.
Muhammara: Use harissa, gochujang, or Turkish pepper paste to substitute. You'll likely use smaller amounts than muhammara to balance the higher salinity of these condiments.
Pomegranate Molasses: In case you don't have any, substitute with lemon juice by half the volume listed in the recipe.
Roasting Eggplants: I highly recommend pan-frying the eggplants, but roasting is another option! Preheat the oven to 450°F (240°C). Line a tray with parchment paper, place the eggplant slices on the sheet, then brush with olive oil and salt. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn, and roast for another 10 minutes until the eggplants are softened and the edges are caramelized.
Salting Eggplants: Use Italian (smaller) eggplants if possible, but the regular kind will work just as well. I wouldn't recommend Japanese eggplants for this recipe. You could peel them completely, but I like to leave some of the skin on for extra flavor. If the eggplants you usually buy are often bitter, make sure to salt & dry them first. Although the bitter taste has been bred out of the modern eggplant, there may be areas where this isn't the case. If that's you—start by liberally salting all sides and place in a colander to sweat. You'll likely be surprised by all the water that drips out! After about half an hour, thoroughly dry the eggplant slices with cloth napkins or paper towels.
Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free bread instead of regular, and omit or replace the breadcrumbs in the muhammara to make this gluten-free.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Lunch, Sandwich
- Method: Pan-Fry
- Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern