This tomato eggplant sandwich has crispy pancetta, creamy burrata and sundried tomato pesto on toasted sourdough bread. This yummy combination represents one of my favorite open-faced sandwiches of all time.
Why this recipe sings
This extraordinary open-faced sandwich is crisp, fresh, and filled with flavor.
The sandwich includes pancetta, which is fried until golden crispy. Its rendered fat is used to toast the sourdough bread and provides a rich, nuanced flavor. The eggplant is sliced thin and lightly fried while a quick marinade of ripe tomatoes and garlic comes together. On the toasted bread goes a red pesto (from a jar), then the eggplant and tomato are paired with creamy burrata and topped with crispy pancetta.
Here is what you need
- Sourdough bread.
- Red pesto. A very versatile ingredient, the opposite of green pesto is made with sundried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and olive oil. It adds salty peppery notes to any dish.
- Eggplant. Half a medium eggplant is enough.
- Tomato. It must be ripe and juicy.
- Garlic. Sliced thin for the tomato marinade.
- Fresh oregano. You can use dried oregano in a pinch.
- Buratta cheese. The creamy white cheese can be substituted with fresh mozzarella.
- Smoked pancetta. You can aslo go for thick bacon, or guanciale. You can also use proscuitto. For the latter option I prefer to use it without cooking. Toast the bread only in a little olive oil.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- All-purpose flour.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Open-Faced Tomato Eggplant Sandwich With Pancetta
- 2 sourdough bread slices
- ½ medium eggplant sliced very thin
- 1 tomato ripe
- 1 garlic
- 1 fresh oregano sprig or dried oregano
- 2 oz smoked pancetta thick slice, or thick bacon cut in strips or cubed
- 2 tablespoons red pesto
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil total, you might not use all of it
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Slice the tomatoes and add to a plate. Slice the garlic and place it on top. Pour two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil all over. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add some oregano leaves on top. Let tomatoes marinade while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Slice the eggplant into thin slices.Season the flour with a pinch of sea salt, stir, and add to a plate. Lightly dust the eggplant slices on both sides.
- Add two-three tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and place on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, fry the eggplant slices until they get a light golden color on both sides, about 2 minutes.Transfer slices to paper towels to absorb the oil and set aside.
- Wipe the skillet clean and place it on medium-high heat. Slice the pancetta and fry until golden crispy about 3-4 minutes. Remove pancetta from the skillet and set aside with the eggplant. Don't clean the skillet from the pancetta fat.
- Drizzle some olive oil on top of the bread slices. Using the same skillet over medium-high heat toast the bread slices until golden.
- Spread about a tablespoon of red pesto on a bread slice. Stack 3-4 eggplant slices with a couple of tomato and garlic slices. Break the burrata into pieces and place them on top. Add half of the pancetta and pour some leftover tomato marinade and oregano leaves all over. Enjoy!
- If red pesto is hard to find you can spread an olive tapenade on the bread, halved pitted kalamata olives, or add a couple of chopped sundried tomatoes.
- Instead of fresh oregano use dried oregano.
- Substitute Buratta cheese with fresh mozzarella.
- If you can’t find smoked pancetta use smoked thick bacon, guanciale, or prosciutto.
- If you opt for prosciutto, it is best not to cook it. It is a lovely ingredient that will taste amazing just as it is. Toast the bread only in a little olive oil.