Open-Faced Grilled Eggplant, Red Onion, and Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Celeriac Sauce
SOUNDTRACK: “Summertime” by John Coltrane from My Favorite Things
BOOKS: Mindful Loving by Henry Grayson, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra
While a slice of rustic bread supports the vegetables on this open-faced sandwich, grilled eggplant is the real foundation. Grilled eggplant has a sweet, smoky flavor and would be delicious eaten alone. But I layer tangysweet grilled onions and ripe, seasonal heirloom tomatoes into the mix to add beautiful colors and additional flavors that meld well with the buttery eggplant. Right before serving, the sandwich is brightened with Creamy Celeriac Sauce.
If you can’t grill, the eggplant and onions can also be cooked in an oven. Just place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet 3 to 4 inches from the heat and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned and slightly crisp. Turn them with a fork and broil for another minute or so. After removing the vegetables, place the bread under the broiler for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, until lightly browned.
Recipe courtesy of The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus by Bryant Terry, 2012. Published by Da Capo Lifelong Books.
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, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 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.
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.
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