Fried Eggplant Sandwich Stack

May 28, 2015
1 Ratings
Photo by Bevi
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 12 stacks of varying sizes
Author Notes

This is my version of a dish from my friends' Italian restaurant, Trattoria la Festa, up the road in Stowe, VT. The recipe includes fried eggplant slices, a built in caprese salad, and homemade pesto. Served on a few tablespoons of chunky tomato sauce with a final drizzle of balsamic glaze atop the stack, one stack can make a great appetizer, or two or more stacks a nice vegetarian entree with a side salad. This dish is best served when fresh, juicy tomatoes are in season. I transformed this into a sandwich by using round or classic sub sandwich rolls. You can toast them while the eggplant stacks are warming in the oven. NB: Using a Dutch oven to fry the eggplant slices will prevent oil splatter all over your stove top. —Bevi

What You'll Need
  • 2 medium eggplants, peeled and sliced crosswise into 3/4" thick rounds
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt for seasoning the dredging flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper for seasoning the dredging flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • enough vegetable oil to fill up to 1 inch in a large sauté pan for frying
  • salt for lightly sprinkling fried eggplant slices
  • 12 thin slices of buffalo mozarella
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, each sliced crosswise into 6 pieces
  • 1 cup homemade basil pesto, with extra to spread on sandwich rolls
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups homemade or favorite chunky tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • balsamic glaze
  • round or oblong sandwich rolls as needed
  1. Use 3 separate pie plates for: 1) a seasoned flour dredge, 2) beaten eggs with minced garlic added, and 3) Panko crumbs. Lightly dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour, then the beaten egg, and finally in the panko crumbs. Set prepared eggplant slices on a large platter. I recommend using metal tongs to handle the eggplant.
  2. Pour vegetable oil in a large saute pan that will fit 5 to 7 eggplant slices for frying. Make sure you use enough oil to reach at least halfway up the eggplant slices. Heat oil over a medium flame. Test with a prepared end slice of eggplant to make sure the oil is sizzling and ready.
  3. Carefully set the eggplant slices into the hot oil, using tongs so you do not burn yourself. Fry quickly until golden brown on each side. Remove slices and set on a metal rack over a half sheet pan. Lightly sprinkle each slice with kosher or sea salt, on one side only. Continue to fry all slices, salting lightly. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Assemble mozzarelle slices, tomato slices, basil leaves, and pesto. Match the eggplant slices by size, so you have evenly paired stacks. Place a slice of mozzarella on an eggplant slice, and then spread a small dollop of pesto on the mozzarella. Place a tomato slice on the pesto, followed by a basil leaf. Place the second matched eggplant slice on top of the basil leaf, and this completes a finished stack. Repeat until all stacks are assembled. Place the finished stacks back onto the metal rack over a half sheet pan.
  5. Slowly heat your tomato sauce, and consider adding some crushed red pepper.
  6. Place the stacks in the oven, and warm until the mozzarella is melted - about 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. To serve, spread a few tablespoons of tomato sauce on a dinner plate, place one or two stacks on the sauce, and then drizzle a little balsamic glaze atop each stack. Serve as an app, or an entree with a simple salad. To serve as sandwiches, spread some extra pesto on the toasted round sandwich rolls, drizzle on some balsamic glaze, and spoon a bit of the tomato sauce on the top of the stack before closing up the sandwich. For a sub roll, spread extra pesto on the bread, accordion the stack, or two smaller stacks into the sub roll, drizzle on some balsamic glaze and spoon some sauce over the sub sandwich contents..

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Recipe by: Bevi

Cooking is an important part of my past. I grew up and worked on our family resort. These days, I cook good food to please my friends and family.

3 Reviews

lapadia May 31, 2015
Love the idea, I just have to talk myself into the eggplant part...HA! :)
Bevi May 31, 2015
I know, I know! - how about trying with zucchini?
lapadia May 31, 2015