Found these little beauties at the local farmers’ market yesterday.
I used a couple of the aubergines to make aubergine “steak” sandwiches. First I got together the spice rub:
- cumin seeds
- caraway seeds
- coriander seeds
- ajwain (carom) seeds
- stick cinnamon
- kalonji (nigella) seeds
- dried New Mexico chili
- dried chipotle chili
- coarse sea salt
The spices and chili peppers were roasted in a dry skilled then ground with mortar and pestle.
I sliced the eggplants lengthwise and rubbed them with just enough olive oil so the spices would stick. The slices could have been much thicker and they would have made a meatier sandwich. I baked them in the Oven Central® with top and bottom heat at 400ºF for almost an hour, turning them after 30 minutes.
I was half expecting these to turn into a slimy mushy mess, a consistency I have long associated with eggplant, but they held together very well, probably because they were roasted in a dry pan.
While the eggplant slices were roasting I put together a pesto using dry roasted white and black sesame seeds and white poppy seeds blended with Mediterranean oregano, thyme, rosemary, lime juice, olive oil and kosher salt.
I spread the pesto on sliced whole wheat hoagie buns, covered them with shredded Asiago cheese and toasted them in the oven under the broiler.
The roasted aubergine slices were then placed in the buns and the sandwiches were ready to eat with any additional fillings desired.
We included iceberg lettuce, pickle relish and ketchup in our sandwiches, but sliced tomato would have been good too.