Photo: Courtesy of PBS Food
Ok so by the title of this post, you’re probably either angry or excited!I’ll admit that even though I eat meat, I’m not an enormous bacon fan. I don’t love bacon in salads or other lighter fare. I don’t believe that bacon makes everything better. I love the saltiness of it but it’s usually too indulgent and greasy for me. In the summer, I want lighter foods that make me feel good.
I learned how to make vegan “bacon” from my friend Laura Wright. This “bacon” recipe comes from her book, The First Mess. And the rest is, well, everything that you’d put on a tomato sandwich: vegan mayo, heirloom tomatoes, butter lettuce and salt and pepper. It’s simplicity at its finest!
Eggplant is booming and thriving at the markets right now and I consumed them at nearly every meal. I’m so grateful that the things I love to eat are usually healthy and delicious.
Hope you find the time to give this eggplant-bacon a try because it’s super savory and delicious!
- Eggplant Bacon:
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon mellow or light miso
- Freshly ground black-pepper, to taste
- Vegan BLT Accessories:
- 3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 2 avocados, thinly sliced
- Vegan mayonnaise
- 8 slices of bread of choice, toasted
- To Make the Eggplant Bacon: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set a cooling rack on top of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut off both ends of the eggplant. Then, with the cut button end flat on the cutting board, cut the eggplant down the middle. Lay each half, cut side down, on the board, and slice into 1/4-inch strips.
- In a large colander, layer the eggplant strips, sprinkling liberally with sea salt as you go. After you finish the layering, let the eggplant sit for 15 minutes. I usually set the colander over a plate or in the sink to collect the liquid escaping the eggplant.
- Rinse the eggplant thoroughly. Towel-dry-the pieces of eggplant, and arrange them on the rack-fitted baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider, vinegar, smoked paprika, tamari, and miso. Brush half of this mixture onto the eggplant strips. Season the eggplant with black pepper.
- Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the eggplant and use tongs to carefully flip over all the strips. Brush the remaining half of the oil and maple syrup mixture onto the exposed side the eggplant. Season the eggplant with black pepper once more. Roast the eggplant for another 10 to 15 minutes or until you start seeing some crisped edges. Serve eggplant bacon hot.
- To Assemble the BLTs: Sprinkle the slices of tomatoes with salt and pepper. Place them on a paper towel and allow to stand for about 5 minutes, while you gather the rest of your ingredients. This will give the tomatoes time to release some of their water.
- Smear on a swipe or two of mayonnaise to the slices of bread. Add the butter lettuce, then the tomatoes, avocado and then lastly the eggplant. Slice in half and serve. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
This recipe was originally posted on PBS Food.