Do you ever find inspiration for a meal, and then it stays in your mind until you finally create it? This meal is courtesy of one of those lingering ideas I had last week… I was poking through my freezer one day and came upon a bag of frozen, breaded eggplant slices. (I like to make these in advance for easy weeknight meals like Eggplant Parmesan. Just dip thinly sliced eggplant into flour, milk of choice, and then Panko breadcrumbs. Fry on both sides until very light brown. Allow to drain and cool, then freeze for future use!! When ready to use, simply remove from freezer and fry 2-3 minutes on each side.) I was thinking of another way to use these delicious rounds and thought they would be delicious as the focal point of an Italian inspired sub sandwich.
First, I decided, I would have to choose a bread. It couldn’t be too soft, or else the sandwich might get mushy. Mushy eggplant is a definite no. I figured an authentic crusty style hoagie roll would be perfect, with just enough crunch to complement the eggplant and other goodies I hadn’t yet planned on filling it with. As usual, I searched Pinterest for a recipe and came upon this. The picture wasn’t completely selling me, as I couldn’t tell if the texture of the outer roll was as crusty as I wanted. I decided to give it a go, though, as the ingredients were super simple and I was hungry!
Italian Eggplant Hoagies on Homemade Rolls
Hoagie Rolls –
- 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 cup grapeseed or melted coconut oil
- 3 cups organic all-purpose flour + 1 cup white wheat flour (or all 4 cups AP)
- Homemade Hoagie Rolls
- 2 Fried Eggplant Slices per Sandwich
- Pre- or Homemade Pesto (I use this pesto from Central Market that is super yummy.)
- 1 Head Roasted Garlic per Sandwich (Mashed into a spread, like this. I added a little S&P.)
- Roasted Yellow & Red Peppers (Roasted @ 400 degrees about 20 minutes with oil, S, & P.)
- Sliced Cheese of Choice (I had Swiss on hand. Provolone or Mozzarella would be perfect!)
I used my bread machine on the dough setting to create my dough. You can make it by hand just as easily. Simply mix all ingredients so they are incorporated and knead until soft and pliable. Allow dough to rise until it’s doubled in size. Next, you can separate into quarters (or 6, if you want smaller subs) and roll out. Then shape your loaves by rolling one end up and pinching the layers together.
Now allow the shaped rolls to rise again for about 20 minutes. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, until browned. Allow to cool (as long as you can!) and slice lengthwise. You can now assemble your amazing sandwich. I did a thick layer of pesto on the bottom, topped with the fried eggplant slices and melted cheese. The roasted garlic spread is on top, along with the sweet oven-roasted peppers. Together, this sandwich is absolute Italian bliss. Molto Delizioso!!
I hope you love it as much as I do! Namaste! xo