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Open-faced Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
Open-faced Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

Open-faced Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium-size eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
2 medium-size red onions, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 loaf of rustic bread cut diagonally into eight 1/2-inch slices
Freshly ground white pepper
Fine sea salt

½ pound silken tofu
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon agave nectar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ cup minced green onions (green and white parts)
½ cup loosely packed peeled and coarsely grated celery root (celeriac)
A few pinches of cayenne
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper

For the sandwiches:

Preheat a grill or broiler. Soak eight 12-inch wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, cayenne, and black pepper and mix well with a fork.

Add the vegetables to the bowl and toss to coat.

If grilling, thread the onion slices onto two skewers each. Transfer the onions and the eggplant rounds to the grill and cook, turning once with tongs, until browned and slightly crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

After turning the vegetables, add the bread to the grill. Cook, turning once, until crisp and golden on the surface but still soft inside, about 4 minutes.

Assemble the sandwich by layering a slice of eggplant, a slice of tomato, and several slices of onion. Slather on some celeriac sauce, then sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.

For the sauce:

In an upright blender, combine the tofu, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, garlic, agave nectar, mustard, olive oil, paprika, cayenne, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper and blend until smooth. If necessary, season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the sauce to a bowl, stir in the green onions and celery root, and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Recipes courtesy of chef Bryant Terry, from “The Inspired Vegan.”

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