The Ultimate Aubergine Sandwich with Focaccia & Tahini Yoghurt
This aubergine sandwich with focaccia is deliciously spicy, sticky and makes an excellent vegetarian lunch option. Spiced and roasted with Gochujang, honey, and rice vinegar, then dressed with creamy Tahini yoghurt, this makes for a mouthwatering gourmet sandwich filling. Perfect between chargrilled slices of crispy golden focaccia, with mint, rocket, parsley and radishes! And, with a few tweaks, it also makes for a perfect vegan lunch.
London’s springtime obsession with focaccia sandwiches is showing no sign of abating. And it really isn’t surprising. After all, the weather is gorgeous and it makes for the perfect picnic food – convenient, easy, and utterly delicious.
Our bakeries are doing a roaring trade, with pre-orders for these gourmet sandwiches selling out in a minute flat. So, if you’ve missed out, you can still enjoy a magnificent gourmet meal between two slices – by simply making your own, like this aubergine sandwich with focaccia & tahini yogurt, or you can try my Focaccia Sandwich with Roast Chicken Filling
Aubergine: More Than Just a Naughty Emoji
Aubergine, also known as brinjal or eggplant is a nightshade vegetable native to India.
Except… it isn’t a vegetable, technically. It’s actually a berry.
It’s been cultivated for centuries and is now grown all over the world. Aubergines come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, including purple, white, and green. They have a mild flavour that’s slightly bitter, earthy, and nutty.
What I love about aubergines is how versatile they are – they pair well with a variety of flavors, including savoury, sweet, and spicy. They’re often used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Indian cuisines.
And rather than being relegated to a mere side-dish, aubergines are the focus of many dishes like an authentic Italian Parmigiana di Melanzane made with aubergine slices that are breaded and fried, then topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Or a fragrant, spicy Indian curry with aubergine, tomatoes, onion, garlic and ginger. And of course, we also love it in Baba Ghanoush – a delicious Middle Eastern dip made with mashed aubergine, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic.
Aside from being so versatile and tasty, it’s packed with goodness.
Aubergines are a great source of:
- Dietary fibre: Which can help to regulate digestion and promote heart health.
- Potassium: An important mineral for heart health and blood pressure management.
- Folate: This is a B vitamin that is especially important for pregnant women.
- Vitamin C: An antioxidant that can help to protect the body against damage from free radicals.
When choosing your aubergine, look for a glossy, firm, smooth skin that is free of blemishes. Remember, you can keep aubergine in the refrigerator for up to three days.
All You Knead
Focaccia is a gorgeous golden, dimpled bread Italian flatbread with a soft, chewy, pillowy interior.
If you can’t get focaccia, you can use a sourdough bread, country style bread or even ciabatta. And if you thought sourdough and ciabatta are one and the same, they’re not. Ciabatta has a lighter, crustier texture to sourdough. It also has a much milder flavour. Sourdough has a distinctively tangy flavour, a result of using a slow-fermented, live yeast starter.
Both are delicious options and hold up well to all sorts of sandwich ingredients.
Aubergine Sandwich Fillings
This aubergine sandwich filling requires a little prep, but it’s easy enough and the taste and deliciously sticky texture makes it absolutely worth it.
First we’re going to char-grill the aubergines directly over a gas flame, cooking until they are softened and the skin is burnt and charred. And if you don’t have gas, simply grill the aubergines in your oven, on the highest setting.
Then, we’ll be resting them in a container with a lid on to steam. This also makes the skin a lot easier to remove.
We’ll then be combining the sesame oil, Gochujang, maple syrup or honey and rice vinegar together to make the glaze. Peel the skin from the aubergine, leaving the aubergine whole, and place it onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Lightly scratch at the surface of each aubergine with a fork, slightly breaking up the flesh to create ridges and texture for the sauce to cling to.
Drizzle over the glaze and bake. Remember to flip half way through and re-glaze your aubergine.
A Sublimely Saucy Little Number
The spicy Gochujang sauce, honey or maple syrup adds a delicious warmth and sweetness to the glaze which pairs beautifully with the roast aubergine. To counteract the sweetness a little, we’re making a creamy tahini yoghurt sauce which also adds an earthiness to the dish.
The rice wine vinegar and honey or maple syrup salad dressings adds a delicious tang, and of course, the herbs add freshness.
The result? The ultimate filling for a gourmet aubergine sandwich!
Rate This Aubergine Sandwich with Tahini Yoghurt
If you try out this delicious aubergine sandwich with tahini yoghurt dressing, please leave me a comment, give the recipe a rating, and remember to tag your photo #theculinarycartel onInstagramso we can see what you come up with.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this gluten-free?
It can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free bread. Please check the labels of any store bought sauces to ensure they too are gluten-free.
Can I make this vegan?
It can be with a few substitutions. Use maple syrup instead of honey and coconut yoghurt instead of dairy yoghurt. Most Gochujang mixes are vegan, but please do check the label carefully to be sure..