Marinated Eggplant Sandwich with Tomato Relish

Menu Part: 

Chef Tom Colicchio
New York City

Here’s a bold take on a plant-based sandwich from chef Tom Colicchio, founder of the ‘Wichcraft chain of sandwich shops. He marinates eggplant in herbs and jalapenos before grilling the slices, then sandwiches them with mozzarella on thin multigrain rolls. A housemade tomato relish adds another layer of bold flavor.


Tomato Relish
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp. kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. pickled mustard seeds

4 thin multigrain sandwich rolls
2 med. eggplant, cut into ½-in. slices
3 cups loosely packed herbs (basil, dill, cilantro and parsley)
4 jalapenos, seeded and cut into rings
¼ cup golden raisins
1 cup olive oil
6 limes, juiced
4 oz. mozzarella, sliced
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper


1. Prepare tomato relish: Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in  onion and garlic; saute until golden brown. Add sugar and curry powder; cook 5 minutes. Add vinegar to deglaze pan.

2. Stir in tomatoes, oregano and salt and pepper to taste; simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat and pour contents into a strainer, stirring the relish to drain most of the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.

3. Transfer relish mixture to medium bowl; stir in parsley and mustard seeds, checking the seasoning and adjusting if necessary. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.

4. For sandwich: Chop all the herbs and set aside. Plump raisins by soaking in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

5. In small hotel pan, combine olive oil, half the herbs, half the jalapenos and half the lime juice to create marinade. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper; add to marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

6. Remove eggplant from marinade; reserve marinade. Grill eggplant over indirect heat until it has softened and cooked through. Return eggplant to the marinade along with the drained raisins; toss with remaining herbs, jalapenos and lime juice, allowing to cool to room temperature.

7. To serve, spread tomato relish along bottom half of roll and place marinated eggplant on top. Add sliced mozzarella and top with remaining half of roll.

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