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May 11

Eggplant Muffuletta Sandwich

No picture this time, because Tony and I ate these sandwiches right up. I got the original recipe from the Veganomicon, p. 100 and then adapted everything to what I had on hand. Judging by these sandwiches, I bet the actual recipe tastes fantastic. The only thing I would absolutely change when I make these sandwiches again is that I will be using a tougher bread, like sourdough that has a thicker crust.

My changes were that I halved the olive salad and made it with black olives only, used premade eggplant patties from Trader Joes, put far less olive oil than the recipe calls for and used hamburger buns instead of the peasant bread in the original. You are also supposed to let the sandwich sit for up to three hours. But I couldn’t do that, so I let them sit for a couple minutes. My recipe makes 4 sandwiches, and will fill you up, but not in a heavy, lumpish way.

Olive Salad Relish

1 cup black olives
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, dry
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp powdered rosemary
1/2 tsp powdered thyme
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
Olive oil, to taste

Sandwiches

1 box Trader Joes eggplant patties
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
2 roasted red and yellow peppers (mine was out of a jar at Trader Joes, but you can roast your own)
4 hamburger buns

Preheat the oven according to the directions on the eggplant box.

Place the olives, parsley, garlic and sundried tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with the balsamic vinegar and dried herbs. Chop everything up with a hand blender (you could probably also use a regular blender or food processor) to the consistancy you like – mine was pretty fine, but you can go choppy. At this point, I added a splash of olive oil to make it more moist. Cover the salad with saran wrap or put in an airtight container in the fridge.

Prepare the eggplant to package directions.

Put the spinach leaves in a bowl and sprinkle with the red wine vinegar.

When the eggplant is done, assemble the sandwiches. Open the buns, and spread the olive salad in a thick layer on each side. Layer the bottom with an eggplant patty, then some spinach, some roasted red pepper, another eggplant patty and spinach.

Take the sandwich, and wrap it in aluminum foil (or saran wrap if you prefer) and smoosh it down with your body weight. Really flatten it. Leave them for a couple minutes and then unwrap and place on a plate. Serve.

The texture on these sandwiches (with the buns) was a little soggy, but the taste was awesome.

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