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]

Serves

4-6

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Ingredients

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
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Preparation

  1. Lightly rub eggplant with a thin layer of oil, to coat, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
  2. Smoke it on a low, indirect burn, for 10 minutes to infuse it with flavor.
  3. To finish, grill it or place in an oven, preheated to 350°F,  for 20-30 minutes until it's soft and cooked.
  4. Allow them to slightly char, then add a little salt, pepper, and cumin and stir everything well.
  5. Add the diced red pepper and remove the mixture from heat. You want the pepper to stay crunchy.
  6. Transfer everything to a small bowl, add a splash of vinegar, and mix it with your chopped herbs.
  7. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk them together.
  8. 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.
  9. Add some lettuce and top it with the eggplant, relish, and dressing to build the ultimate sandwich.
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