Crispy Cheese Filled Eggplant Sandwiches with Pomegranate Molasses

Posted on by on May 26th, 2011 | 25 Comments »

When it comes to vegetables, eggplant is my first love. Maybe because it’s purple, and purple is my favorite color or maybe because it’s so versatile and and can be made so many ways or maybe it’s just delicious. Plain and simple.

I first started eating eggplant in eggplant parmesan when I went through my ‘I want to be a vegetarian’ stage in middle school. After I snapped out of that and decided I couldn’t live without meat, I never left the eggplant behind. Lucky for me, eggplant is always in season in Be’er Sheva and they are huge. I’m talking unusually large and wonderful. I used only 1 eggplant for this recipe and it yielded 4 servings.

Think of these little eggplant sandwiches of a light fresh deconstructed version of eggplant parmesan. Baked and not fried, fresh tomato in place of heavy sauce, a 3 cheese filling and a tangy pomegranate molasses to bring it all together. They are perfect for any dinning need. A light lunch or dinner, appetizer for a dinner party, or finger food at a cocktail party. Easy to make, pretty to look at and crunchy, savory and delicious, they will impress any guest or picky family member.

Ingredients (adapted from epicurious)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 1/4 cups panko
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 large eggplant, cut into 16 rounds
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped basil
1/2 Tablespoon hot pepper flakes
1 large tomato, thinly sliced into 8 rounds
Pomegranate molasses

Directions

Preheat oven to 450F
Grease 2 baking sheets with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
In a bowl mix panko, salt and pepper, set aside.
Place flour  in another bowl, set aside.
In another bowl whisk egg and water together, set aside.
Coat each eggplant round with flour then dip in egg mixture and finally coat in the panko mixture.
Place coated eggplant rounds on greased baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes.
Flip eggplant and cook for another 6 minutes.
Remove from oven and maintain oven temperature. Let cool slightly.
In a pan heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and saute onions and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add cheeses, parsley, basil and hot pepper and mix until combined.
Divide cheese mixture among 8 eggplant slices and top with a slice of tomato.
Top with remaining eggplant, making 8 sandwiches.
Bake another 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Divide among plates and drizzle with pomegranate molasses.

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25 Comments

  1. Posted on: 5-26-2011

    Eggplant sandwiches! wow! What a great mix of flavors…I have to give this a try.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-27-2011

      Thanks Daksha. The flavors were really wonderful together.

  2. Posted on: 5-26-2011

    I love eggplants, too! 🙂 And this dish looks absolutely amazing! I make eggplant rolls filled with goat cheese and marjoram, but this looks amazing! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-27-2011

      Thanks Giulietta! I love eggplant rolls too!!

  3. Posted on: 5-26-2011

    This is incredible – the pomegranate molasses add such lovely flavors.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-27-2011

      Thanks Belinda! The pomegranate molasses is really a prefect finishing touch to this!

  4. Posted on: 5-27-2011

    Wow beautiful plate! I LOVE eggplant too…and the cheese and tomato combination is perfect. Pomegranate Molasses is the part that it makes your creation… I wouldn’t even think of that as a sauce! Great recipe Beth! What a lovely dish to look at… YUM!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-27-2011

      Thanks Nami!! I cant take credit for the pomegranate sauce, I saw it on epicurious and was hooked! It was such a unexpected sauce that worked out beautifully!!

  5. Posted on: 5-27-2011

    I love the fact that you baked them! That’s the thing with aubergines when you cook them in oil they soak up loads, this way they look crispier too. I’m excited to try them this way, thanks!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-29-2011

      Natalie, baking these let them stay really crispy!! Much better then frying them.

  6. Posted on: 5-28-2011

    I want to try this; never heard of Pomegranate Molasses.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-29-2011

      Sandra, if you cant find any pomegranate molasses or syrup near you its very easy to make! Just boil down pomegranate juice, a little bit of sugar and some fresh lemon juice until it turns thick and coats the back of a spoon. Let it cool and thats it!

  7. Posted on: 5-28-2011

    Ohhhh… eggplant (together with artichoke) is my favorite vegetable too! I love everything about it (taste, color, consistency), and I love everything made with it. This recipe looks amazing, really clever and inspiring. I can also easily find pomegranate molasses at the shops! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-29-2011

      Manu, I love artichokes too! If you love eggplant and cheese then yes, you will really love this!!

  8. Posted on: 5-29-2011

    Great plating and photos. I had no end of trouble trying to photograph a similar dish to this so much so I never posted it.Well done on photogawker etc. I have yet to crack that.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-30-2011

      Thanks Mike. I took about 100 photos until I got a few that worked!! Also with foodgawker, I have had photos rejected more times then I care to share!!! I just keep reading up on food photography and practicing! You will get it!

  9. Posted on: 5-29-2011

    This looks absolutely wonderful! Wow!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-30-2011

      Thanks Katie!!

  10. Posted on: 6-4-2011

    You can never go wrong with fried, grilled or steamed eggplant! It’s one of my fave vegs too! And the fresh tomato slice just add the needed freshness. Oh, the goodness!

  11. Posted on: 7-2-2011

    That looks so good and I like the use of the pomegranate molasses!

  12. Posted on: 11-28-2011

    Hurrah, that

  13. Posted on: 6-8-2012

    I love eggplant! This looks so yummy! …A great escape from bead sandwiches,,,

  14. Loraine
    Posted on: 6-18-2012

    What is panko? what can I substitute for it?

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-18-2012

      Panko are Japanese bread crumbs. You can use regular breadcrumbs if you cannot find any Panko.

      • Loraine
        Posted on: 6-18-2012

        thank you very much..

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