Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches with Tomato-Tarragon Relish

5 from 5 votes
Jump to RecipePrint

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Crispy eggplant sandwiches with tomato relish and tarragon mayonnaise. A hearty hand-held that is every bit as satisfying as its meat-based counterparts.Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches with Tomato-Tarragon RelishVeggie sammies tend to have a bad rap.

They’re either too mushy, too bland, or just emulate a salad wedged between two slices of bread. But a GOOD veggie sandwich? Nothing compares. And this new-school version has the potential to become a regular in your rotation.

One crucial component of a next-level veggie sammie is to have a range of textures.

  • A mix of crunchy, snappy, and creamy textures will keep each bite as interesting as the next.

Part of this is achieved with a bright and wildly flavorful tomato relish. Here, tomatoes cook down with a mix of other big flavor boosters to create a deeply savory sauce. 

The tangy tomato relish is the yin to herb-y mayo’s creamy, mellow yang. The mayo also helps anchors the fillings to the bread so they don’t go slipping and sliding out when you take a bite.

How to Make Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches

The star of this sandwich is the crispy baked eggplant.

It’s toothsome enough to mimic meat’s heft and can stand up to other more dominating toppers. The preparation for the eggplant is the same one I use to make eggplant parmesan—it produces a crispy exterior and creamy inside without frying.

When shopping for eggplant, choose one whose skin is vivid and shiny and stem is green—both great signs that the vegetable was recently harvested.Eggplant sandwiches arranged in a brown picnic bag

The Ingredients

  • Eggplant: Look for two small globe eggplants with shiny, firm flesh.
  • Breadcrumbs: To give the eggplant a crispy exterior, use plain or whole-wheat breadcrumbs.
  • Tomatoes: Use any variety of tomato that looks good at your grocery store or local farmers market. I usually go for vine-ripe tomatoes, as they tend to be juicer than plum. 
  • Tarragon: The bittersweet flavor of tarragon is often compared to licorice, anise, and fennel. If you’re not a fan (or can’t find it), simply swap it for fresh chives.
  • Bread: Use any hearty loaf or baguette – such as French, sourdough, or ciabatta – you like!
  • Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar lends bright, tangy flavor to the tomato relish.
  • Mayo: I use avocado oil-based mayo, such as Chosen Foods brand, for extra heart-healthy fats.
  • Sugar: A little sugar helps cut through the acidity of the tomatoes. 
  • Aromatics: A mix of shallots and garlic create an aromatic foundation for the sauce.
  • Cheese: I suggest a mild, highly meltable cheese like mozzarella to keep the central flavor focus on the other components. 
  • Arugula: For crunchy, peppery top notes.

How to Make Crispy Roasted Eggplant

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place an oven-safe rack over a large rimmed baking sheet covered with foil. Lightly spray rack with cooking spray.
  2. Lightly season eggplant with salt. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and black pepper in a wide-rimmed bowl. Place egg and 1 Tbsp. water in a separate bowl; whisk to combine.
  3. Dunk each slice of eggplant in egg mixture followed by breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Place eggplant slices on baking rack.
  4. Lightly coat eggplant slices with cooking spray. Bake at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through.

Slabs of eggplant after being dredged in egg and breadcrumb mixture

What to Serve with Eggplant Sandwiches:

These eggplant sandwiches go well with just about any soup or salad. Here are a few of my favorites:

Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches with Tomato-Tarragon Relish

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • Make-Ahead: The tomato relish and tarragon mayo can be made 1 to 2 days in advance. Store separately in the refrigerator.
  • Store: While these sandwiches are best enjoyed fresh, you can wrap leftovers in foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Reheat: Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and reheat in a 300ºF oven until warm. Alternatively, enjoy sandwiches closer to room temperature.

Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches with Tomato-Tarragon Relish

A colorful sandwich is a flavorful sandwich, and this one is no exception. Pile it onto a toasty baguette and bring it to any outdoor picnic or lunch al fresco.

More Healthy Eggplant Recipes to Try:

Mediterranean Eggplant and Halloumi Bowls

Miso-Roasted Eggplant with Turmeric-Tahini Sauce

Eggplant Parmesan Meatballs

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to leave a rating and review. Also, be sure snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations.

5 from 5 votes

Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches with Tomato-Tarragon Relish

Crispy eggplant sandwiches with tomato relish and tarragon mayonnaise. A hearty hand-held that is every bit as satisfying as its meat-based counterparts.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 sandwiches

Equipment

  • Large rimmed baking tray
  • Large skillet

Ingredients  

  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1 large egg whisked
  • 2 small globe eggplants trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch planks
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon, divided
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 loaf ciabatta or French baguette
  • 1 (8-oz.) ball fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 packed cups arugula
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Place an oven-safe rack over a large rimmed baking sheet covered with foil. Lightly spray rack with cooking spray.
  • Season sliced eggplant evenly with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a wide-rimmed bowl. Place egg and 1 Tbsp. water in a separate bowl; whisk to combine.
  • Dunk each slice of eggplant in egg mixture followed by breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking rack. Lightly coat eggplant slices with cooking spray. Bake at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallots and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add tomatoes, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Simmer over medium heat until mixture reduces and thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. of the tarragon.
  • Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tsp. tarragon in a small bowl; mix to combine.
  • Slice loaf of bread (or baguette) in half, lengthwise. Arrange mozzarella slices on one half, and pop bread under the broiler for 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bread is golden.
    Arrange eggplant slices over the melted cheese, followed by the tomato relish.
    On the other half of bread, evenly spread tarragon mayonnaise and top with fresh arugula. Combine top half with bottom half of sandwich and slice into five.

Notes

  • Make-Ahead: The tomato relish and tarragon mayo can be made 1 to 2 days in advance. Store separately in the refrigerator.
  • Store: While these sandwiches are best enjoyed fresh, you can wrap leftovers in foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Reheat: Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and reheat in a 300ºF oven until warm. Alternatively, enjoy sandwiches closer to room temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 1080mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!

 

2K Shares

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. Roseann says:

    Do you have to salt the eggplant before baking? I know that this will help eliminate bitter eggplant. Your thoughts?? This recipe looks amazing!

  2. Christina says:

    5 stars
    One of Jamie’s BEST recipes! Incredibly delicious and not hard to make!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Christina! Thank you for taking time to leave a review!

  3. Laura says:

    5 stars
    I can’t say I’m usually an eggplant fan (GASP), but this recipe could TOTALLY change that! I’ll take it crispy and loaded into an irresistible sandwich any day!

    1. dishingouthealth says:

      Haha love hearing that!! I think this one *could* potentially change your outlook on ol’ eggplant. 😉

  4. Chelsey says:

    I’m drooling! This sandwich is GORGEOUS Jamie!!

    1. dishingouthealth says:

      Gah thanks, girl!! Gotta love how versatile eggplant is in sammies!