Courtesy of Jeff Mauro
Makes 4 sandwiches
1 Large eggplants, peeled then sliced in ½ in. rounds.
All purpose flour for dredging
6 Large eggs, beaten
4 cup panko break crumbs
Fresh cracked pepper
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes – drained and seeds removed
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Oil for frying
8 oz of burratta cheese
pickled cherry peppers
4 fresh brioche rolls, buttered and griddled until golden brown
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sprinkle kosher salt on each side of eggplant and place on a triple layer of paper towels
on a sheet tray. Place another triple layer of paper towel and repeat if necessary. Let the
salt do the work for 30-45 minutes. Firmly press on eggplant to remove as much liquid
as possible, then wipe off any excess salt. Then pepper each side of eggplant.
In a bowl, toss tomatoes with brown sugar, olive oil, balsamic and some salt. On a
parchment lined sheet tray, evenly place whole tomatoes. Place in the oven until slightly
caramelized and dried out a bit, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside
Set up a standard breading station with flour, egg and panko. Dredge each eggplant slice
in flour, shake of excess, dip in egg, let excess drip and then coat in panko. Set aside on
wire rack and repeat.
Heat 1/2-inch of oil in 2 large straight-sided saute pans over medium heat the oil.
Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden
brown, about 4-5 minutes a side. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking
sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant. Keep eggplant warm in oven on a wired sheet
pan at 175 degrees.
Butter and griddle both sides of bread until golden and crispy. Lay burratta on bottom
bun, then hot eggplant, then 4 -5 roasted tomatoes, pickled cherry peppers to taste and
fresh basil. Close bun, cut in half and serve with applause.