Sunday, 8 September 2013

Eggplant, Harissa & Herb Gremolata Sandwich

It's back to the grind this week in Kale Eats kitchen.  Back to school, work and the rink means a lot of busy days.  Was it a busy in your home too? Did you survive it?  No matter how prepared I am, the hectic nature of September always catches me off guard.  Suddenly we are up earlier, filling out forms, sharpening skates and meeting teachers.  It will be a challenge to make quiet moments in our schedule this fall but I am committed to making it happen.
It's a sharp contrast in activity when school starts.  We spent our last week of August lounging in hammocks on a lake.  Just the four of us (and a friendly loon) meant lots of time to connect.  Just when I thought I knew my kids and husband inside out, they surprise me with stories and thoughts.  With no distractions (or screens) we spent our time talking to each other while swimming and hiking in beautiful August sunshine.  We played cards in our tent and told stories by the fire with no schedule to dictate when we ate or slept.  It was bliss.
If only I could capture that magic and bring it back to our busy home.  With persistence and effort, I believe we will find that peace and quiet.  In the meantime, we're running from one obligation to another with rushed meal times too.  My CSA basket was bursting this week, so most of our meals have been veggie based.  This sandwich has several components but all can be made in advance, making assembly quick when you want it.  It was a nice departure from our usual eggplant recipes or boring sandwiches.  The herbs and yogurt sauce are a nice cooling contrast to the spicy harissa.

Eggplant, Harissa & Herb Gremolata Sandwich

1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 tsp sumac
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 red onion, sliced
1 lemon (prefer Meyer), zested and juiced
1/4 cup mint, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/4 cup harissa sauce(recipe bottom; or use store bought)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3 strands saffron
1 Tbsp boiling hot water
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp minced garlic
4 White Rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Rub olive oil on baking sheet.
EGGPLANT:Sprinkle sumac and salt on eggplant slices. Place on sheet and bake in oven until crispy; about 10min per side. Remove from oven.
ONIONS:Combine lemon juice and red onions. Allow to sit and marinate. Reserve
YOGURT SAUCE:Combine saffron and boiling water and let sit 3 min. Mix with yogurt and cumin.
GREMOLATA: Combine lemon zest, parsley, mint, garlic and almonds.

TO assemble sandwich: Slather harissa on bottom of roll. Place one slice of eggplant, top with yogurt sauce, onions and gremolata. Place another slice of eggplant on top. Enjoy!

HARISSA SAUCE:
3 dried guajillo chiles
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1 clove garlic
1 roasted red pepper
1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
In a small bowl, cover the sundried tomatoes and chiles with hot water. Allow to sit 5-10 min and then drain. Combine all ingredients but oil in a food processor. Add oil through tube while mixing until smooth and not too thick.


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