Ham, Eggplant and Harissa Sandwich
- 300 g double-smoked Black Forest Ham, thinly sliced
- 1 large eggplant
- ½ cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup (250 ml) panko breadcrumbs
- ½ mozzarella ball
- 4 tsp.(40 ml) harissa (or to taste)
- 4 square ciabatta breads, lightly toasted
- 8 basil leaves, cut into fine strips
- Vegetable oil, for cooking
- Salt and pepper
- Remove ends from the eggplant and cut 4 slices about 1.5 cm (5/8 in.) thick from the widest section. Reserve remaining eggplant for another use.
- Place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in 3 different bowls. Add salt and pepper to flour and mix well.
- In a high-sided pot, pour in enough oil to cover bottom by 1 cm (3/8 in.) and place over medium high heat.
- Roll eggplant slices in the flour, then the egg, then in the breadcrumbs pressing firmly so they adhere.
- When oil is hot, place eggplant slices side by side in the oil and cook 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cut mozzarella into 4 slices.
- Lower heat to medium, turn over eggplant slices and top with the mozzarella, cover and cook an additional 2 minutes.The cheese should be melted and the eggplant nicely browned underneath. Remove and drain on a double thickness of paper towels.
- Spread the ciabatta breads with harissa sauce, top with double-smoked Black Forest ham slices and place a hot eggplant slice on top.
- Garnish with basil, close the sandwiches and serve immediately.