What better to make a vegetarian sausage out of than a vegetable that has a meaty texture and is already pretty much shaped like a sausage! I'm talking about the Japanese eggplant, of course. They are available at most specialty grocery stores, but if the one near you doesn't have them, they can easily be found year-round at most Asian markets.
Here we've flavored the Japanese eggplants using the same spice blend you'd find in almost any Italian sausage. It's a savory mix of sage, fennel, and spice. We serve them like they do in Jersey: hot-dog style on a hoagie roll, with potatoes, peppers, onions, and plenty of mustard.
These were so good I ate one for dinner, half of one for a snack, and another for lunch the next day.
Cook eggplants over medium heat using a cast-iron grill pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until well-marked by the grill grates. Cook for a total of 12 to 16 minutes or until heated through. Serve on warm hoagie rolls that have been slathered in mustard and stuffed with the Potato, Onion, and Pepper Topping. Add cheese to the top of each and melt it under the broiler if you wish.