Forgive the picture: it shows a white flour pita. Here at Debra’s, we’re whole grain all the way!

Eggplants are rich in compounds that protect them against stressors like bad weather, bacteria and fungi. Does that mean eating eggplants helps us stay healthy too?  That would be my guess!  While this recipe makes a delectable sandwich, you could skip the bread and make a composed plate instead with a dollop of hummus, slices of eggplant, a scoop of the cuke olive salad, and somewhere potato, eggs and pickles.

Serves 4                   

1 large baking potato (about 2 C mashed) 1 tsp black pepper
1 med eggplant, 1/2” thick slices (about 4 C) ½ C pitted oil-cured Beldi black olives
1 tsp Spike seasoning mix 1 C minced young cucumber 
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), PLUS++ 4 warmed pita breads or lavash or other wrap
1 jalapeno, minced 1 C hummus
2 garlic cloves, pressed 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
4 Tbsp chopped cilantro or chopped parsley 4 small dill pickles, sliced
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or heat up the grill).  In a small saucepan, cover the potato with water.  Bring water to a boil, cover pot and cook potato over medium heat just until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and let cool.  When cool, mash potato, skin and all, and set aside.

As potato cooks, drizzle EVOO on a rimmed baking sheet (you all know my favorite – the enamel coated steel paella pan you can get at the West Concord 5&10).  Lay eggplant slices in the oiled pan and then liberally brush the topside with more EVOO.  Season with Spike and bake 10 minutes, or until slices are browned and tender.  Yes, you can grill eggplant instead.  To grill, 3-4 minutes per side is all you need.

In a bowl, mix together jalapeno, garlic, cilantro or parsley, lemon, black pepper, chopped olives and cucumber together with the 3 Tbsp of EVOO.    If you’re making sandwiches, now’s the time to call the gang and make this a group activity.  People love to build their own inside a pita or roll their own wrap.

Cut off 2 inches from the side of pita to make a pocket.  Gently open.  Spread the hummus inside and then a little of everything else.  To make a wrap instead, mix hummus and potato together.  Use as “butter” on bread, then on bottom half of wrap, leaving the bottom ½ inch blank, layer eggplant, cucumber salad and chopped hard-boiled eggs.  Wrap the bottom over the filling, and then pull the bread tight as you roll everything up making a cigar.  Serve with good pickles on the side.