I remember a time when I would flee the house as soon as my mother started cooking eggplants... That time was earlier this year!
I fell in love with eggplants sometime during this last summer. I was cold in Germany and my sister used to stir fry veggies for us almost every single day. Eggplants started growing on me and since then I started having them more frequently in Cairo.
This sandwich is definitely for all the eggplant haters out there... it's loaded with other raw veggies and a gooey garlic-y tahini sauce, so you can play around with the quantity of each ingredient to make it taste less of eggplants if you're not into them! But if you’re a hard-core vegetable lover, then definitely go ahead and use more of the eggplant and it'll definitely satisfy those cravings if you get them like I do!
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 6-10 minutes
For the sandwich:
1 medium sized purple eggplant
1 small carrot (optional)
1 cup lettuce or arugula
1/2 cup purple cabbage (optional)
1 loaf of pita/baladi/shami bread*
For the garlic-tahini sauce:
¼ cup tahini
Juice of 1 lemon/ lime
1-2 cloves of garlic (according to your own preference)
2-4 tablespoons of water
A pinch of salt (to taste)
A pinch of black pepper (to taste)
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Step 1: Preheat grilling pan and cut the eggplant and tomato into round discs, less than 1 cm thick each.
Step 2: Turn down the heat and grill eggplant slices for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Tomato slices can be grilled or used raw but they cook much faster than eggplants and they stick! So if you plan on grilling your tomatoes, definitely use some oil to prevent sticking and don’t grill them for more than a minute or two on each side.
Step 3: While the eggplant slices are cooking, chop the lettuce and purple cabbage and roughly grate the carrots.
Step 4: For the sauce, just combine all the ingredients with two tablespoons of water and then add more if you like your sauce thinner. Taste and adjust spices according to your personal preference.
Step 5: Cut the bread loaf in half and assemble by spreading some tahini sauce, chopped vegetables and then the eggplant and tomato slices. Finish up by adding some tahini sauce and feel free to add any chopped fresh herbs on hand. I like cilantro or parsley most with this sandwich.
* The bread used in this recipe is homemade. If you’re interested in the recipe feel free to leave a comment and I’ll definitely pass it on!
** This sandwich is ridiculously light and digests very fast! I eat one as a snack or 2-3 for lunch.