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Baked Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches

We've ditched the deep-fryer and now we're firing up the oven for these Nonna-approved baked Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches. Real crowd-pleasers, these sandwiches are layers of crusty bread smothered in homemade tomato sauce, golden baked tender eggplant, peppery arugula and melted mozzarella cheese.

Bite Me Bit

"I'm not a sandwich store that only sells turkey sandwiches. I sell a lot of different things."

-Lady Gaga

Ingredients

Tomato Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1(28oz) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Eggplant Parmesan

3 medium eggplants, cut into 30 (½-inch thick) slices
1 tbsp kosher salt
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

10 crusty sandwich buns
Baby arugula
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

1) For the tomato sauce, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, stirring 2-3 minutes until tender. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and using a handheld immersion blender, process slightly, leaving the sauce somewhat chunky. Season with sugar, salt and pepper.

2) For the eggplant, place the slices in a large strainer, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of salt, toss to coat and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant and dry well with paper towel.

3) Preheat oven to 425ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place flour, salt and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Add eggplant slices and toss to coat. Place eggs in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip each slice of eggplant in the eggs and then in the breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides well. Place in a single layer on prepared baking sheets and spray the tops with non-stick cooking spray. Bake 12-13 minutes, flip the slices and continue baking for 12-13 minutes more, until eggplant is golden. Remove from oven and set broiler to high.

4) To assemble sandwiches, spread 2 tbsp of tomato sauce on the bottom of one sandwich bun, place a small portion of arugula over the sauce. Layer on 3 eggplant slices, 2 tbsp of tomato sauce and 3 tbsp of mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Heat under broiler until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven and add the top of the bun. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

Yield: 10 sandwiches

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