Tramezzino di melanzane

This Italian appetizer features two slices of eggplant sandwiched around a savory filling, then breaded and baked. Tramezzino di melanzane
Yield 5-6 servings
Time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • knife
  • colander
  • clean kitchen towels
  • 2 shallow bowls
  • cookie sheet
  • 1 pound eggplant (about 3 small or 1 medium)
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 6 oz vegan Italian cheese (e.g., mozz sauce, sliced provolone …)
  • your choice of filling*
  • ¾ c mayonnaise
  • 1½ c breadcrumbs**

Slice the eggplant into ½-inch rounds. If it’s big (fat), you might want to cut the whole thing lengthwise first, as I did, so that the "sandwiches" aren’t too big.

Toss the slices with salt in the colander, set in the sink or over a bowl, and let sit for 20 minutes.

Spread a kitchen towel out on the counter. Rinse each eggplant slice and immediately set on the towel. Repeat with remaining eggplant, setting them out in a single layer. Lay another towel on top and press gently to remove excess water.

Make pairs of similarly sized eggplant slices and set up your assembly line:

  1. Eggplant pairs
  2. Cheese and filling
  3. Mayonnaise in shallow bowl
  4. Breadcrumbs in shallow bowl
  5. Cookie sheet (lightly oiled)

Preheat oven to 350.

Take a slice of eggplant, add a bit of cheese and filling, then top with the matched slice. Press together as you dip in mayonnaise to coat sides and edges completely, then dip in breadcrumbs. Place on cookie sheet and repeat with remaining eggplant.

Drizzle the rest of the oil over the tramezzino and bake for 20 minutes. Flip each tramezzino and bake another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve warm, with marinara sauce on the side, if you like.

Notes This is messy! Due to the need to keep the slices pressed together while coating, it’s almost impossible to follow the normal "one wet hand, one dry hand" breading method, so keep a kitchen towel handy to wipe off your fingers between sandwiches.

* When it comes to filling, the sky is the limit – you just need to make sure it’s not too bulky. Some ideas:

  • ¼ c pistou
  • ¼ c smoked tofu, diced
  • ½ c roasted red peppers, chopped
  • ½ c oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • ½ c chopped, sautéed mushrooms

** You can replace up to half the breadcrumbs with ground toasted almonds and/or nutritional yeast.

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Baked eggplant sandwiches