Douglas Katz's Eggplant Reuben

Eggplant Reuben

Serves 4
  • pan-fried eggplant (recipe follows)
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 6 ounces Thousand Island dressing
  • 2 ounces pepper/kraut relish (recipe follows)
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese

For the kraut:

  • 2 cups high-quality sauerkraut
  • ¼ cup choice of pickled hot pepper

Thinly slice peppers and combine with kraut.

For the eggplant:

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into ¾-inch thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon ground juniper berries
  • 2/3 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups of canola oil
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 cups bulgur wheat
  • 1 pound sliced Swiss cheese

Combine spices and sprinkle liberally on all sides of the peeled and sliced eggplant. Allow to rest at room temperature on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a deep saucepan with enough canola oil to cover the eggplant and heat oil to 150˚F. Place eggplant in hot oil (eggplant should be completely submerged), and cook until tender all the way through. Remove eggplant from oil when tender, patting excess oil off with a paper towel, and cool completely.

Combine panko, bulgur wheat, and a pinch of salt in food processor, and blend.

Brush Dijon mustard on both sides of cooled eggplant; then bread with panko mixture. Eggplant can be stored this way for up to 3 days until ready to use.

When ready to make sandwiches, shallow fry breaded eggplant in hot oil, until breading is crispy. Arrange fried eggplant on a sheet pan, top with slices of Swiss cheese, and place in a hot oven or toaster oven until cheese is melted. Spread Thousand Island dressing on both sides of rye bread. Assemble sandwiches with eggplant slices and kraut. Slice sandwiches into triangles using bamboo skewers to hold halves together. Enjoy while hot.

Douglas Katz

fire food and drink