Eggplant Parmesan Sloppy Joes

If I ever had a restaurant, this would go on the menu.

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It’s quick, easy, uses whole ingredients, and is delicious.

I made it for the first time about a month ago, shortly after making the regular Eggplant Parmesan. I had gotten another eggplant and some tomatoes from the farm share, and to try something new, I decided to make tomato sauce with diced eggplant. At some point along the way, I remembered I also still had fresh bread crumbs and Parmesan and mozzarella. So I added them, too. The result: awesome Sloppy Joes. 

Eggplant Parmesan Sloppy Joes

The ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 ¾ cup bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup fresh Parmesan, grated
  • 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 1 ⅝ tsp salt

The steps:

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat
  2. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until soft, about 15 minutes
  3. Add the eggplant and tomatoes, and simmer over medium heat until the eggplant is mostly soft, about 30 minutes
  4. Add the arugula
  5. Add the bread crumbs
  6. Add the Parmesan and mozzarella
  7. And then add the salt

Here’s how everything looked at the beginning, when I made it this week.

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The first step was dicing the vegetables.

The onion (I used three small ones in place of one large one this time)

The onions (I used three small onions this time)

Garlic

Garlic

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Eggplant (remember to peel first)

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And the tomatoes

To save time, I actually did the dicing in two parts. I diced the onions and garlic first, and then while they were sauteing in the olive oil, I diced the eggplant and tomatoes.

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The onions and garlic, looking good after 15 minutes

Once the onions and garlic were ready, I added the eggplant and tomatoes.

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I’ve found that when cooking eggplant, the key for me is to cook it long enough so that it no longer has its initial toughness, but not so long that it becomes completely soft. A 30-minute simmer worked well in this case.

With the eggplant cooked, I then added the rest of the ingredients: the arugula, bread crumbs, and Parmesan and mozzarella.

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The arugula

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Bread crumbs

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And the Parmesan and mozzarella

And then I added the salt and was done!

If you don’t have arugula, you could also try spinach or chard, or leave it out. I like the extra color and taste that the arugula leaves add to the Sloppy Joe mixture, and they go well, too, as an extra topping in the bun. This time I added arugula and a few tomato slices to the bun. An extra piece of mozzarella or Parmesan is another great addition.

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And if you have small crackers and plum tomatoes, you can also make little Sloppy Joe bites!

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Whether as an appetizer or the main course, I’ll definitely be making this again. It’s like Eggplant Parmesan, but inverted, and in the same category of awesome.

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