Monday, January 6, 2014

BBQ Eggplant Sliders with Caesar Coleslaw

Eggplants are magic little things. They can be textured and meaty like in an Eggplant Parmesan, or they can be smooth as silk like in baba ghanoush. This recipe makes use of both of those textures and everything in-between in one easy cooking method. By cooking the halved eggplant skin-side-down on a hot grill, the portion of the eggplant closest to the grill gets smooth while the cut side retains a nice meaty toothiness.

The Caesar Coleslaw adds some great character to the sandwich. Caesar is one of the our favorite dressings around here these days. I had a little left over in the fridge, so I tossed it together with our shredded cabbage and BOOM! Best slaw I've ever had, hands-down.

So many people have no idea what to cook for vegetarians at a cookout. Here's your answer. Besides that, it's quick, doesn't take a whole lot of babying, and it feeds a crowd. Need to feed more than six? It can easily be doubled or tripled. Do you have some vegan guests? Just swap out the mayo and cheese for vegan versions. It's easy! Entertaining can be fun if you just don't stress. This easy dish can help you be the effortless host you always wanted to be.

BBQ Eggplant Sliders with Caesar Coleslaw

Caesar Coleslaw (recipe follows)
4 medium Italian eggplants
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup The Chubby Vegetarian's Signature Dry Rub
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (warmed)
12 slider buns or dinner rolls

Make the Caesar Coleslaw according to the recipe and store in the fridge until ready to assemble the sliders. Preheat your outdoor grill to high. Prepare the eggplant by slicing each in half longways, then cuts slits in the flesh of the eggplant every 1/4 inch; cut through most of the flesh but not the skin.

In a medium bowl whisk together the canola oil, sesame oil, and the vinegar. Drizzle each eggplant half with the oil and vinegar mixture. Apply The Chubby Vegetarian's Signature Dry Rub liberally to each eggplant.

Place eggplant skin-side-down on the hot grill* and close the lid for 20 minutes. Remove eggplant and tent with foil. Allow it to cool so that you are able to handle it. Using your hands, pull as much of the eggplant flesh away from the skin keeping the large strands intact. Discard the skin. Toss the eggplant with the warm BBQ sauce.

Assemble the sliders by splitting the buns and distributing the eggplant evenly among the 12 buns. Top each with about 1/8 cup of the Caesar Coleslaw and cap it off with the top bun. Serve with extra sauce, slaw, and napkins.

Caesar Coleslaw

1 medium head of green cabbage (finely shredded, about 7 cups)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon grainy mustard (like Zatarain's)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 clove garlic (micro-planed or minced)
1 teaspoon vegan/vegetarian worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Tabasco hot sauce (to taste)

Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, garlic, worcestershire, honey, and parmesan cheese. Add hot sauce to taste. Toss to incorporate. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.

* This also works just as well in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.


Anonymous said...

You got rid of the best part of the eggplant, the skin.

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

It works nicely in some recipes, but this one is best without.

Swarna said...

Looks scrumptious

Sara said...

This recipe is genius! I'm a non-grill-owning apartment dweller but I will have to try it in the sounds AMAZING!

Unknown said...

Made this tonight...everyone loved it! Adding it to our meatless meal rotation, thank you!!

Unknown said...

Awesome recipe, Thanks you :)

Try this Italian sandwich, you will love it !!

Kroger Nicole said...

So in the oven? It's what's for dinner! Thanks for adding that final tidbit. YUM.

Anonymous said...

Dear friends, Brahmakumaris are vegetarian... and emphasize the importance of keeping thoughts pure... when preparing food... they either enhance or

decrease the vibes of what we eat...thus affecting our health... vegetarian lifestyle is also more conducive to achieving total peace of mind.
There is Brahmakumaris meditation...that relaxes the mind...nurtures a healthy balance between inner and outer worlds...recharge... rejuvenate the inner-self... From Gita

Anonymous said...

Can this be done in the oven successfully? I don't have a grill. I tried cooking it in the oven and mine came out soggy. This was my first time every eating eggplant so I donny know what the texture should be. Please help! :)

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

every oven is different. Sounds like you overcooked it. Try 15 minutes in your oven next time. The texture is soft with a slight chewiness to it.

Anonymous said...

I tried this in the oven for 20 minuets, then another 5, then realized I wasn't getting anywhere so I ended up skinning them at that point and laying the pieces down for another 10 minutes or so in the oven that I upped to 400. I think next time I'll just do it in slices to begin with. I also coated it in the sauce during that last 10 minutes and that worked out nicely! It was very tasty, just needed a lot more lovin' in the oven than 20 minutes! Thanks for the great Idea! I topped mine with buffalo blue cheese cole slaw!

InstantCrazy said...

I wish I had read the whole recipe before making this. I don't have a grill so I though I would stick it under the broiler. I didn't see the footnote about baking it in the oven. I think I overcooked it because it came out very watery. Flavor was great! 13 year old daughter asked for seconds. I will definitely try again.