This sandwich was inspired by/adapted from Tartine Bread. (One day, we hope someone will be genius enough to publish an anniversary edition of The Joy of Vegan Baking on matte stock. It would be one of the greatest pieces of advocacy ever.) Beautiful book, yes. Vegan, not even close. So after a little work and playing with scale to make this recipe make more sense for a home kitchen, we found total success: Rich eggplant confit and zesty marinated veggies drizzled with a chile-lime sea sauce, all topped with a creamy herb sauce.
Though it looks like a long recipe, don't worry: both sauces are a snap to throw together while the veggies marinate, and the eggplant confit can be made days in advance. Even the sandwich itself can be assembled more than an hour before baking or grilling. Letting the sauces soak into the bread a little doesn't hurt one bit. Which means it travels like a champ.
Note that we did end up making this for the event with the traditional baguette, which is pretty hard to beat. But sometimes a crusty ciabatta (that version pictured above) is in order. Our solution? Make this sandwich early and often, with any bread you're currently craving.
Eggplant Confit Banh Mi
1 baguette or ciabatta loaf (we have a very strong preference for Flour Head Bakery), cut in half lengthwise
1 batch herb legumaise, recipe follows
1 batch marinated shredded vegetables, recipe follows
1 batch chile-lime sea sauce, recipe folows
half recipe eggplant confit, sliced into long, 1/4-inch thick slices
To assemble: Spread the herb legumaise on the cut side of the top half of your loaf and set aside. Spread the marinated vegetables over the bottom half of your loaf. Drizzle the chile-lime sea sauce over the vegetables, then add the eggplant confit. Put the sandwich together. If grilling, wrap the sandwich in foil and grill for about 10 minutes, until warmed through. To bake, place the sandwich (no need to wrap it in foil) directly onto the middle rack of an oven preheated to 375 and bake for 7-10 minutes, until the sandwich is warm and the bread has crisped a bit.
5 basil leaves
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup cooked navy beans
2 TBSP olive oil
1 small clove of garlic
juice of half a lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 of 1 jalapeno (about 1/4 oz)
Add all ingredients to a jar and puree with an immersion blender.
Marinated Shredded Vegetables:
1 medium cucumber (5-6 oz total weight), peeled, trimmed, and shredded
1 small bell pepper (3-4 oz total weight), trimmed and cut into matchsticks
1 large or 2 small carrots (2-3 oz total weight), peeled, trimmed, and shredded
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 TBSP kosher/sea salt
Place the shredded vegetables in a large bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt, and pour the mixture over the vegetables. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Chile-Lime Sea Sauce:
2 cloves garlic
juice of 1 1/2 limes
1/2 tsp oil
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 TBSP low-sodium tamari
1/2 tsp kelp granules
Place all ingredients into a jar and puree with an immersion blender.