1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper, divided
1 1/4 lb eggplant, sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
1 14.5-oz BPA-free can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
4 whole-wheat hoagie rolls, split and toasted
Arrange oven racks in top and middle position; preheat to 300°F. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 tsp rosemary and 1/4 tsp cumin. Lightly wet almonds with about 1/4 tsp water and toss with spice mixture. Spread out on a small baking sheet. Bake on top rack for 5 minutes, until golden. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 400°F.
In a small flat baking dish, combine 5 tbsp yeast seasoning, garlic powder, 2 tbsp parsley, 1 tbsp rosemary, black pepper and 1/2 tsp cayenne.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Working 1 at a time, dip eggplant in egg, turning to coat both sides and letting excess drip back into bowl. Press both sides of eggplant in mixture in baking dish. Place coated eggplant on sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant. Bake on middle rack for 40 minutes, turning halfway.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce: In a blender, combine tomatoes, basil and garlic until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan on medium. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp rosemary and cumin, 1 tsp parsley, 1/8 tsp cayenne and bay leaf. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining 2 tbsp yeast seasoning. Cover and keep warm on low.
In a medium skillet on medium, heat oil. Sauté bell pepper for 3 minutes. Add onion and sauté 10 minutes more, until onions and peppers are soft.
To assemble sandwiches, spread 2 tbsp tomato sauce on bottom half of each roll. Layer 4 to 5 eggplant slices over sauce. Spoon another 2 tbsp tomato sauce over eggplant and top with about 1/2 cup sautéed peppers and onions. Sprinkle 2 tsp spiced almonds over each sandwich.
Serving Size: 1 roll, 5 oz eggplant, 1/2 c peppers and onions, 1/4 c sauce, 2 t almonds
A quick and easy take on eggplant Parmigiana, our version skips breading and frying the eggplant while still oozing with saucy, cheesy goodness. Try serving alongside simple tossed and steamed veggies topped with shaved Parmesan for a complete meal.
The eggplant is native to southern India, called "aubergine" in France and found most commonly in its plump purple Italian form (or in its slender Japanese form, a good substitute), which we've used here to create a hearty and super-chunky tomato sauce.