June 12, 2011
Eggplant and Hummus Wrap
If you're not a fan of eggplant, you may want to skip this recipe...although there are some redeeming qualities of it if you decide to get curious. In fact, everything except the eggplant is good in this quick and healthy lunch.
Aside from the eggplant prep, this recipe comes together pretty quickly. Start by baking sliced eggplant: the recipe suggests 1/3-inch thick slices, but I think this may be one of the main problems. I'd say slice the eggplant MUCH thinner than this (maybe 1/4 to 1/8 inch), for the sake of both flavor and wrap construction. The eggplant does wilt and shrink during baking, but not quite enough. That being said, you also don't need such a large eggplant, and I'd actually say find the smallest one available. Otherwise, you'll end up with a huge amount of leftovers like I did.
Once the eggplant is prepared, building the sandwich is easy. This was the first time I've used the pita-split technique, which is great for wraps or other types of rolled sandwiches. Basically, instead of splitting it vertically and stuffing it as you normally would, you split it horizontally so there's two thin rounds. The pita is also super pliable this way, which is great.
Spread the pita rounds with your favorite hummus (I used a roasted garlic flavor), arrange 2-3 eggplant slices on it, then top with lettuce. Carefully roll up the pita, and secure it tightly in wax paper until ready to eat.
Unfortunately, the eggplant is what brings this meal down. Prepared according to the recipe, it's thick, mushy, and flavorless. So again, I'd suggest slicing it uber-thin, baking for even longer, and definitely adding some seasoning to them. This has none, and it needs it desperately! Seriously, just a little salt and pepper would be enough, or maybe add some oregano for a nice woodsy touch. And I'd almost reconsider brushing the slices with olive oil before baking; this only adds to the mushy texture, as eggplant pretty much just soaks up the oil.
Aside from that, everything else is tasty. The pita is tender, soft, and slightly sweet. The lettuce adds a fresh crunch, and the hummus is smoky and savory. I do think overall that the sandwich is missing something tangy or salty: a squeeze of lemon juice or some added feta could do wonders.
This sandwich is great for many meals. Two of them are satisfying enough for an entree, while one would go nicely with a soup or salad. Or, try slicing them into one-inch rounds and securing with toothpicks for a nice appetizer tray.
Make again? Probably not. I think it takes a good recipe to make eggplant tolerable, and this isn't one of them.
Eggplant and Hummus Wrap
Vegetarian Times, May/June 2006