Each time I go back to Italy I bring back with me some culinary inspiration.
This time I came across a recipe for eggplant and Italian sausage sandwich, while lying on a beach and missing my kitchen. Today I decided to go for the eggplant sandwich for dinner but to fill it with organic beef instead. It sounded more like a proper meal. Fresh arugula (rucola in Italian) pesto was a great accompaniment to this dish.
You need: 1/2 kg (1 lbs) ground beef, 2 eggplants (the rounder the better), flour, salt, black pepper, olive oil.
How to: cut the eggplants in 1 and 1/2 cm (about 1/2 inch) thick rounds. Rub with salt and dip in flour. Remove excess flour and fry in a little olive oil until golden-brown. Place in a plate with kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Make the hamburgers adding salt and pepper as you like and gently fry them. Place each burger in between two wide slices of fried eggplant. Use the smaller slices as side vegetables.
Arugula pesto: put 1 box (about 2 cups) of washed and carefully rinsed arugula, 20 basil leaves, 3 table spoons of pine nuts, and a few spoons of water in a food processor and make a smooth pesto. Add salt as you like.
CONSIDERATIONS: This was seriously good. The soft eggplant was perfect to complement the firm texture of the burger and the arugula pesto was a great fresh dip with quite a bite.