This epic, open-faced "na'anwich" takes the classic elements of baba ganoush, but instead of pureeing the eggplant, slices it, then pairs it with fresh herbs and a tahini dressing. While you don't get the creamy texture you've come to expect from baba ganoush, this deconstructed iteration allows the individual ingredients' flavors to shine.
Wicked Baba Ganoush Na’anwich [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Filling:
- 1-2 whole Japanese eggplants, the purple kind with edible skin
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Coarse salt and pepper, to taste
For the Relish:
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- A couple pinches of salt and pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 red bell pepper, small dice
- 1 capful apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons sambal (garlic chili paste)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
For the Sandwich:
- Na'an bread (gluten-free if needed)
- Lettuce leaf or two
- Sliced red peppers
- Lightly rub eggplant with a thin layer of oil, to coat, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
- Smoke it on a low, indirect burn, for 10 minutes to infuse it with flavor.
- To finish, grill it or place in an oven, preheated to 350°F, for 20-30 minutes until it's soft and cooked.
- Allow them to slightly char, then add a little salt, pepper, and cumin and stir everything well.
- Add the diced red pepper and remove the mixture from heat. You want the pepper to stay crunchy.
- Transfer everything to a small bowl, add a splash of vinegar, and mix it with your chopped herbs.
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk them together.
- Steam the na'an or heat it on a hot skillet for about a minute on both sides before making the sandwich. This adds warmth and helps make the bread more pliable and pleasant.
- Add some lettuce and top it with the eggplant, relish, and dressing to build the ultimate sandwich.