“Simple yet full of wonderful texture and flavour, these sandwiches can be prepared ahead of time and taken with you if there are no cooking facilities at your picnic spot,” writes Carla Kelly in her book Vegan al fresco. “However, if you can grill on location, bring the marinated eggplant in containers and put sandwiches together using eggplant strips hot off the grill.”
1. In a large flat container with a resealable lid or in a large zip- close bag, combine all marinade ingredients.
2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, then into 16 1/4-inch (6-mm) wide strips. Place eggplant slices in bag with marinade and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour (longer is better). Turn after 30 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, combine chive butter ingredients. Cover and chill until required.
4. Preheat barbecue to high (or broiler, if using oven) and grill eggplant slices for 20 minutes, turning as required until both sides are golden and a little caramelized. While grilling, split rolls lengthwise and lightly toast if desired.
5. Spread rolls with chive butter. Place tomato slices, greens, and red onions on 1 side of each sandwich. Top each with 4 slices of grilled eggplant.
• 1 medium eggplant, , about 1 lb (500 g)
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine
• 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar or vegetable stock
• 2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
• 1/4 –1/2 tsp chili flakes
• salt and ground black pepper, to taste
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely choppedfresh chives
• 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
• 1/2 cup (125 ml) vegan margarine
• 4 long baguette-style rolls
• 2 fresh ripe tomatoes, sliced
• 2 cups baby spinach
Recipes from Vegan al Fresco: Happy & Healthy Recipes for Picnics, Barbecues & Outdoor Dining by Carla Kelly (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2014)