Go veggie or vegan for brunch today with a 'fake-on' BLT recipe
Based on the entirely unscientific survey we conducted around the office, bacon is the one meat that our veggie and vegan friends miss the most. This recipe from the new Tasty cookbook means that they no longer have to miss out on the glory of a BLT (sort of)...
Eggplant "bacon", Lettuce and Tomato
One of the things that makes bacon so delicious is its distinctive smokiness, so when devising a vegan version of the classic BLT sandwich, we decided to substitute eggplant (aubergine), a vegetable that shares that smoky quality, especially when you add a little paprika to the mix. Slicing it thinly with a mandoline will ensure it crisps up perfectly, and tamari, Worcestershire, and maple syrup will help give your eggplant bacon (or “fake-on,” if you will) the ideal savory sweetness.
1⁄4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos (or soy sauce, if you’re not vegan)
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (or regular, if you’re not vegan)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium eggplant (aubergine), ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise
Flaky sea salt
8 slices sandwich bread
8 slices vine-ripe tomato
4 leaves iceberg or green-leaf lettuce
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the olive oil, tamari, Worcestershire, maple syrup, paprika, pepper, and garlic powder in a medium bowl.
3. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, thinly slice the eggplant lengthwise, about 1⁄16 inch thick so it resembles bacon. Add the eggplant to the bowl with the sauce and toss to coat completely. Arrange the eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheets, dividing them evenly.
4. Bake until the slices are golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Set the baking sheets on wire racks, sprinkle the eggplant with flaky sea salt, and let cool for 5 minutes.
5. Toast the sandwich bread, if you like, and spread one side of each with as much mayonnaise as you like. Place 2 tomato slices and 1 lettuce leaf on each of 4 slices of the bread. Top each with one-quarter of the eggplant bacon and another slice of bread, mayonnaise-side down. Wrap the sandwiches in foil and serve.
Extracted from Tasty: Every Day (Ebury press, £20). Photography by Lauren Volo