Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18: Baked Sesame Eggplant Subs with Fire-Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce

1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large firm eggplant, thinly sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten with a splash of water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, such as Muir Glen brand
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 crusty sub rolls, tops split
1 pound smoked fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, sesame seeds, and 2 tablespoons of the EVOO.

Dust the eggplant slices in the flour, then dip in the eggs and press into the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange the eggplant on a large nonstick cookie sheet and bake in the center of the oven until deep golden all over, 15 to 17 minutes.

While the eggplant cooks, in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, saute the garlic in the remaining 2 teaspoons of EVOO.

Puree the roasted peppers in a food processor. Add the peppers and tomatoes to the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and heat through.
Turn the oven from bake to broil. Fill the sub rolls with sauce, breaded sesame eggplant, and smoked mozzarella, then place the subs under the broiler. Brown the cheese until it bubbles, then serve up the subs nice and hot.


I made this recipe for the potluck at church today. I stuck it in the oven when we got there so the cheese would melt. That's why it looks like this. I liked it ok, but a couple things could have made it better. Being in the oven for 3 hours really dried out the bread so it wasn't fresh tasting. I really liked the taste of the eggplant, but it was drowned out by the red pepper. I think next time I would either use less red peppers or just leave them out all together. I used smoked string cheese, because it's the only smoked mozzarella I could find. I changed Parmigiano-Reggiano to regular Parmesan. I lessened the amount of EVOO for cooking the garlic from 2 tablespoons to 2 teaspoons. People at church really liked the subs because they got all eaten up. (I made 6 and cut them into thirds.)

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