Published April 24, 2013 - Last Updated January 22, 2021
Baked Eggplant Sandwiches recipe with provolone, sun dried tomatoes, and a crispy golden crust. Gluten free and low carb options.
I have an enormous cookbook collection. Not kidding. Remember that scene in Beauty and the Beast when the Beast ushers Belle into his grand library, with books from floor to ceiling? If not, here’s a refresher…
That is exactly what my office looks like.
Okay, not really. But I do have hundreds of cookbooks, many of them vintage and out-of-print. I’ve been collecting for over a decade via Amazon, flea markets, antique shops, and used bookstores. Every so often I come across a gem of a book, one in which nearly every recipe inspires me. “The Food of Southern Italy” by Carlo Middione, published in 1987 (now out of print), is one of those rare books that draws me to the kitchen like a magnet. I cherish it.
Most of you know I’m a big fan of Mediterranean cooking, so Italian food is right up my alley. Carlo’s book is a bountiful collection of inspiring Italian ideas. Every time I flip through the pages, I’m struck by a gorgeous recipe that I must make. A couple of weeks ago I picked it up again. The weather was starting to warm up, which put me in the mood for Italy, Tuscany, olive oil, and fresh produce. This time, I found a promising recipe for “Eggplant Sandwiches.” The basic idea was mouthwatering… provolone cheese and mortadella sandwiched between two eggplant slices, breaded and baked. Obviously mortadella isn’t kosher, nor is mixing meat with dairy, so I started thinking about how I could modify the recipe. I had a small jar of oil-packed sun dried tomatoes in the pantry that I’d been wanting to use, along with some flat leaf parsley in the fridge. With a little creativity, I whipped up something utterly scrumptious. Friends were joining us for dinner that day, and a couple of them are keeping low carb, so I experimented with two coatings– a traditional breadcrumb coating and a low carb, gluten free almond meal coating. Both worked out great, so I’m posting both options here. More info on dietary modifications below. My guests were thrilled!
What I love about this recipe is how versatile it is. It can be served as an appetizer, a dairy side, or even an entree. They’re great on their own with just a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Topping them with a bit of marinara or arrabiata sauce makes them more entree-like… sort of like eggplant parmesan, but better. Crispy golden outside, warm gooey cheese and sweet sun dried tomato within. Buon appetito!
This dish is easily adaptable for a variety of dietary restrictions. For gluten free or low carb, sub almond meal for breadcrumbs. For nut free, use breadcrumbs. For vegetarian, use vegetarian (microbial rennet) Parmesan and provolone.
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Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...