We love a good BLT, so you can imagine our skepticism when we heard about a vegan BLT being served at No Name restaurant in L.A. However, after actually trying the recipe, we were shocked by the flavor profile chef Jared Simons is able to get out of eggplant. Layered with heirloom tomatoes, frisée, onion and radish, the eggplant bacon shines in this vegetable-packed sammy.
While eggplant can't mimic the taste of pork exactly, the combination of liquid aminos and liquid smoke add the saltiness and smokiness you expect from bacon. Overall, we dig this sandwich—and our waistlines do, too.
Vegan Eggplant BLT
Recipe from Jared Simons, No Name, Los Angeles, CA
Yield: 6 sandwiches
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating and cooling time
Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes, plus marinating and cooling time
2 large (12 ounces) Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise into ⅛-inch strips
2 tablespoons liquid aminos
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 slices sourdough bread, toasted
3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced thick
4 red radishes, thinly sliced on a mandoline
½ Maui onion, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 head frisée lettuce, roughly torn
1. Preheat the oven to 225º and line a baking sheet with a wire rack. In a medium bowl, toss the eggplant with the liquid aminos, brown sugar, liquid smoke, maple syrup and cayenne pepper to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, then drain and arrange on the wire rack, making sure the eggplant strips do not overlap.
2. Dry the tray of eggplant in the oven until crisp, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1½ hours. Transfer the dried eggplant to a plate to cool.
3. In a small bowl, mix the vegan mayonnaise with the lemon juice until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
4. Lay 3 slices of toasted sourdough on a cutting board and spread each with some of the lemon mayo. Place 2 slices of the tomato and a few slices of the eggplant bacon, radishes and onion on the sandwich. Pile some frisée over the vegetables and top with another piece of toasted sourdough spread with the lemon mayo. Slice in half and serve.
*This article was originally published on 09/30/2016 by Tasting Table editors. The restaurant, chef and/or recipe are in no way affiliated with or endorsing the featured sponsor.