Recipe creating is a hard process. It starts with an idea. Then it becomes an attempt at a recipe. Then it must be tested and retested and tweaked until it’s perfect. And sometimes, all the efforts in the world can’t make it right.
This sandwich was fabulous on the day that this photo was taken, back in August. The crispy fried eggplant was a beautiful contrast to the silky fresh mozzarella and the sweet, juicy tomato. Maybe I should I have stopped there, and been happy with it. But I wanted a slightly healthier version with all the flavor, but without frying.
I tried roasting the eggplant, but the resulting sandwich was less than appealing — all the fillings were soft. Too much mush, not enough contrast (or flavor). It was so bad that I haven’t wanted to eat eggplant since.
Now, I am not sure where to go next. Should I be content with the original effort and just perfect that recipe? Should I seek a baked version that has that crispiness? Should I abandon the eggplant or find another crispy element to make this perfect?
What do you think?
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.