I adore eggplant - like, love an insane amount. If there was ever such a thing as a sexy piece of produce, it would be eggplant. It's best served in fat slices, grilled or sauteed in a spritz of olive oil until they're like thick, succulent steaks... mmmmmm. I have leftover eggplant in my fridge now and just writing about it makes me want to get up and fry me a slice. (It's 11 pm on a Wednesday. Maybe if I give it an hour it'll be an acceptable midnight snack?)
A very similar sandwich was the very dish that inspired me to start writing this blog. My first post ever was about an eggplant sandwich on a New Jersey bagel my roommate Dana had brought back from a trip home. My heart jumps for joy every time I see a perfectly plump Italian eggplant in the produce section and decide to buy it, without any care or thought for how I'll put it to good use.
I've tried to make my friends and boyfriend as enthusiastic about potential dinners of epic eggplant proportions, but to no avail. The poor guy just sits there in my fridge, waiting to be eaten slice by slice until the forgotten leftovers are tossed in the trash. Then the other night it hit me. Why should eggplant be limited to dinner? How about combining two of my favorite things, eggplant and breakfast sandwiches????
Egg-y Eggplant Vegetarian Breakfast Sandwich
Makes: 1 sandwich Total time: 20 minutes
2 thick slices of Italian eggplant
1 piece of artisan bread, large enough for sandwich
1 egg, fried
1 slice of tomato
1/2 cup spinach
Coarse ground pepper
Chop two slices of eggplant about 1-1/2 inches thick. Drizzle or spray olive oil in a medium pan and cook eggplant for 1 to 2 minutes on either side until lightly golden.
In the meantime, slice your piece of artisan bread through the middle to create a top and bottom piece. Toast for 3 minutes. Slice tomato and measure out spinach. Set aside.
In a small frying pan, fry one egg to desire doneness. Layer eggplant, fried egg, tomato and spinach on the bottom slice of bread. Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Cut in half and serve with a side of fresh fruit.