Fried Eggplant Sandwiches with Harissa

Michael Symon
Servings: 4 - 6
15 to 30 min

A winning 5 in 5 from Chef Symon!

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
Fried Eggplant Sandwiches with Harissa
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 medium eggplant (peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices)
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 (1/8-inch-thick) slices fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 pound)
  • 4 soft brioche-style buns (split)
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 4 teaspoons harissa paste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Preheat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Put the eggs in another shallow bowl and beat them lightly. Put the panko in a third shallow bowl and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Put a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Season both sides of the eggplant with salt and pepper. Working with one piece at a time, dredge the eggplant in the flour, making sure to coat both sides well. Shake off the excess. Dip the eggplant into the beaten eggs, allowing the excess to drip off. Finally, lay the eggplant in the panko, turning and pressing to fully coat both sides.
  • Add the oil to the preheated pan. Arrange all of the eggplant slices in the pan in a single layer and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the eggplant and top each piece with a slice of mozzarella. Cover and cook until the cheese has melted slightly and the eggplant is golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and harissa paste. Brush the mixture onto the insides of both the top and bottom bun and place, cut-side down on the preheated griddle. Cook until buns are toasted and harissa paste has caramelized, about 1-2 minutes. Remove, and top each bottom bun with a slice of eggplant and melted mozzarella, and top with torn basil. Finish with a top bun and serve immediately!
  • Tip: For an extra special sandwich, stack two slices of eggplant and mozzarella on top of each other before finishing with the top bun!
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