I found Jeff Mauro’s “Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich” recipe intriguing, but wanted a low cholesterol eggplant parmesan sandwich that was easier to make. Here is my quite tasty take on a low cholesterol eggplant parmesan sandwich.
Low Cholesterol Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich Ingredients
The following are all the ingredients you’ll need to create this low cholesterol eggplant parmesan sandwich. This recipe uses a more heart-healthy oil and calls for less of it, and produces a smaller sandwich that will easily fill you up without overeating.
- 1 can of whole tomatoes, drained
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or glaze
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon crushed basil leaves (or use fresh basil)
- 1 eggplant, unpeeled and sliced into 1/2″ rounds
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs with one yolk removed, beaten
- 1 cup panko
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Olive oil for frying
- Rolls or Italian bread
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- Pickled peppers (cherry peppers, pepperoncini, or sport peppers)
This recipe requires about 30 minutes from start to biting into your finished sandwich.
Do the following prep steps prior to handling the ingredients:
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
- Put a wire rack over a second baking tray.
The first step is to prepare the tomato sandwich topping:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar or glaze, olive oil, brown sugar, and, if you’re not using fresh basil, crushed basil leaves, and pinch of salt.
- Add the whole tomatoes and toss.
- Place the tomatoes on the aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
- Oven bake for 20 minutes. The tomatoes should be dry and lightly brown. Set aside when cooked.
While the tomatoes are cooking, prepare the eggplant slices:
- Put the eggplant slices on the wire rack.
- Sprinkle salt on each side.
- After 20 minutes, blot each side dry with a paper towel.
This step describes how the eggplant should be breaded:
- Set up 3 shallow bowls.
- Put flour in the first bowl, beaten eggs in the second, and panko flakes plus grated parmesan cheese in the third.
- Quickly mix the panko and parmesan, using a whisk or fork.
- Cholesterol note: I remove 1 of the egg yolks, which makes the sandwiches slightly lower cholesterol without affecting texture or flavor.
- For each eggplant slice, first dip lightly in flour, then in beaten eggs, then cover in panko/parmesan, then return to the wire rack.
Fry the eggplant slices a few at a time:
- Using a cast iron skillet wide enough to fit 2 eggplant rounds, heat about 1/3″ of cooking or olive oil on medium heat.
- Use a drop or two of water to make sure the oil is hot enough. The oil is hot enough when the water makes a quick pop sound when it hits.
- Fry the eggplant slices 2 at a time in the hot oil, 3-4 minutes per side, until the side is medium-brown.
- Note: Use tongs to flip the eggplant and, when finished, to remove the eggplant from the frying pan.
- When each eggplant round is finished, return it to the wire rack to drain.
Make the Sandwich
Put your low cholesterol eggplant parmesan sandwich together:
- Set your oven to roast.
- Ideally, your bread should be just as wide as your eggplant round.
- Slice your roll or bread in half, put in the oven, and lightly toast the inside.
- When toasted, remove from the oven and set on a plate.
- Slice off a few thin slices of mozzarella cheese and put on the bottom half of the toasted bread.
- Put 1 eggplant round over the mozzarella cheese.
- Put 1 baked tomato on top of the eggplant.
- Slice 2-3 peppers in half, and put on top of the tomato.
- If you’re using fresh basil leaves, put 2 sprigs on top of the pepper.
- Top with bread and serve.
The only hassle with this low cholesterol eggplant parmesan sandwich was, for me, cleaning up the oil. I don’t do much (or any) deep frying, but didn’t want to pour the oil down the drain. To clean up the cooking oil, I used a wad of a few paper towels to soak it up and throw it out in the trash. You can, supposedly, compost oily paper, if your community supports it.