2000s Recipes + Menus

Eggplant Po’ Boy Hoagie

Makes2 sandwiches
  • Active time:45 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/4 hr
August 2009
Eggplant is the unexpected star of this mouthwatering sandwich, a marriage of two New Orleans classics—the po’ boy and the muffuletta. It’s battered, fried, and piled high with a cool, crunchy relish of olives, fresh vegetables, and pickled eggplant. (Editors’ note: This recipe is solely the creation of Kay Chun and has not been formally tested by the test kitchen.)

Watch the Test Kitchen Challenge video that features this recipe.
  • 2 (3/4-lb) eggplants (try graffiti eggplant, which is beautiful and has great texture)
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 small fresh jalapeņo, halved
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped seedless cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped radishes
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups plain fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 (6-inch) hoagie rolls, split and toasted
  • Accompaniments:

    mayonnaise (optional); shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Cut 1 eggplant into 1/4-inch pieces and toss with 3 tsp kosher salt in a sieve set over a bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water, then squeeze out excess water. Put eggplant in a small bowl.
  • Meanwhile, bring vinegar, water (1/4 cup), garlic, peppercorns, jalapeño, sugar, and remaining 2 tsp kosher salt to a boil in a small saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  • Strain cooled pickling liquid over chopped eggplant and let stand 15 minutes. Drain eggplant, then toss with olives, cucumber, tomato, radishes, basil, olive oil, and pepper to taste in a large bowl.
  • Put eggs in a shallow bowl. Put bread crumbs in a 4-sided sheet pan or on a large plate. Slice remaining eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs to coat. Cook eggplant in batches (do not overcrowd skillet), turning once, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes total. Add more vegetable oil to skillet between batches as necessary. Drain eggplant briefly on paper towels.
  • Spread mayonnaise (if using) on cut side of rolls. Put lettuce on bottom half of each roll, then top with eggplant slices, overlapping slightly. Spoon eggplant-olive relish on top of fried eggplant, then sandwich with top half of roll.
Cooks’ note:
  • Eggplant can be pickled 3 days ahead and chilled.
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