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Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a. fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.
Today: A food truck favorite heads into the kitchen for a morning makeover.
I was living in Boston when the food truck phenomenon really started to take off. With the help of a city-wide competition between trucks vying for parking spots at Government Center, the food truck scene went from "guys selling fried dough and sausages in front of subway entrances" to "chefs and grad students and farmers selling everything from schmancy ice cream sandwiches, Vietnamese noodle salads, or gussied-up grilled cheeses, to popovers and rosemary sea salt French fries." And it all seemed to happen overnight.
One of the earlier food trucks to appear specialized in overstuffed, seasonal vegetable-oriented pita sandwiches. It swiftly became a beloved lunch destination. They had (and, I believe, still have) one sandwich called the egg and eggplant sandwich that I always wanted to try, but for reasons too complex and dull to talk about here, I never wound up getting one. This sad dietary omission has been haunting me lately, so I decided to google “egg and eggplant sandwich” to see if the internet could help me come up with my own.
That’s how I discovered that the egg and eggplant sandwich is actually a classic Iraqi-Israeli dish known as sabich (or sabih). And the reality of the sandwich is even more delightful than what I had expected. It is layer upon layer of flavor tucked into (or atop) a pita -- fried eggplant and sliced hard-boiled egg, hummus, chopped cucumber and tomato salad, mango pickle, herbs, sauces -- basically all the good things in the world in a single, messy pile. I found a version in the cookbook Jerusalem that is mind-blowingly good, but also on the complicated side. So I tweaked it, drawing on a few other versions I found, and simplified it -- it’s especially simple if you do some of the steps ahead of time, like the night before -- to turn it into breakfast.
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch-thick rounds
1 large tomato or a large handful of cherry tomatoes, diced (quartered if using cherry tomatoes)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 small garlic clove, crushed to a paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pita breads
4 small dill pickles, diced
4 large eggs, hard cooked, peeled and sliced into rounds
Salt and pepper
See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.
Photos by Emily Vikre