Do you ever have those moments when you’re really glad no one was around to see you do something stupid or embarrassing? Like, I don’t know…when you talk to your dog or lick the brownie batter spatula and get chocolate all over your face or when you miss a step and almost fall down the stairs. Not that I would know anything about doing ANY of those…just giving examples, y’know? 😉
I will admit, however, that I was pretty happy when no one was around to see Marc and I demolish these open faced eggplant parmesan sandwiches. First of all, I was beyond hungry and felt like a ravenous beast all through dinner. Second, these were a hot mess to eat, and after a failed attempt of eating it with my hands (um, no…just don’t) they definitely required a knife and fork. Third, we both completely licked our plates clean, finishing these ginormous open faced sandwiches.
Now, you definitely don’t have to make yours quite so big. It just so happened that the focaccia bread that I bought was really wide, making for really long slices of bread. Hence, very large sandwiches. So you can let your hunger be the deciding factor in how big your ‘wiches are.
Which, speaking of you making these cheesy, crunchy, eggplant parmesan delight of sandwiches – DO IT!! Do it while eggplants are at every stand at the farmers market. Do it while there’s still sunlight at 7:00 and you can eat your open faced sandwiches on the patio. Do it on a night when you get home from work and aren’t on the verge of eating your arm because *disclaimer* they take a bit of time to make. But are so worth it. Do it because they. are. so. good!
What’s not to love about crispy breaded eggplant slices layered with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, topped with more mozzarella and cheese, all on top of some yummy bread?! I see these as a great transition meal into fall as it uses late summer produce and is a fun take on classic comfort food as a sandwich.
- 2 small to medium eggplants
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs whisked
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil
- focaccia or French bread cut into ~1/2" slices
- butter for bread
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 log of fresh mozzarella cut into thin slices
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set out a baking sheet.
- Cut eggplant into ~1/8" thick slices.
- Combine breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, and salt and place in a shallow bowl.
- Place flour and eggs into separate shallow bowls as well.
- Dip each slice of eggplant in flour, then egg wash, then dredge in breadcrumbs.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat in large skillet.
- Working in batches of 3-4 slices of breaded eggplant at a time, sauté the eggplant for 2 minutes on each side, just until it is golden brown. You don't want to cook it all the way through.
- Add more olive oil as needed, as you work your way through the eggplant.
- Place breaded golden eggplant onto baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until eggplant is tender.
- While baking, butter your slices of bread.
- Top each slice of bread with 2-3 slices of eggplant, depending on how long your bread is and how large your eggplant slices are.
- Spread ~2 tablespoons of marinara over the eggplant, then top with mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat this with another layer of eggplant, marinara, and mozzarella.
- Place back on baking sheet and bake in oven for another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and sandwich is warmed through.
- Turn broiler on and broil for ~1 minute, until cheese is golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy!