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This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce!

This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com

Most of the time the vegan sandwich selection at delis leaves a lot to be desired. But not anymore, because we’re skipping the takeout and making this Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich instead! It is the perfect sandwich for your next lunch outing. The eggplant is coated in a harissa sauce before being roasted until crispy. It is then layered on toasted ciabatta with pesto, tahini sauce and LOTS of veggies. This sandwich is delicious and packed with flavor!

Step One: Make the Harissa Eggplant

Ok, there is a lot going on in this sandwich. But the star of the show is this harissa eggplant. It adds flavor and crunch to the sandwich. And I know harissa looks spicy, but it adds the tiniest kick, nothing super spicy!

This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com

Start out by slicing and salting the eggplant. The salt will remove any bitter flavor and the stored liquid from the eggplant. Just sprinkle some salt on the eggplant and let it sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you will see moisture on top of the eggplant. Grab a paper towel and wipe off the liquid and the salt.

While the eggplant is being salted, add harissa paste, soy sauce, oil and dry seasonings to a bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.

This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com

Transfer the eggplant slices to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush both sides of each slice with a light layer of the harissa sauce. Place in the oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. The eggplant should have a slight crunch, but shouldn’t be too charred.

This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com

Step Two: Make the Tahini Sauce & Prep the Veggies

While the eggplant is roasting, we are going to prep everything else. For the tahini sauce you will need:

  • tahini
  • lemon juice
  • dijon mustard
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • dried parsley
  • dried chives
  • dried dill
  • pepper

Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add water to thin and adjust the seasonings as needed. Set it aside.

This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com

To prep the veggies, drain a jar of roasted red peppers and dry the peppers off with paper towels. Once dry, sliced into strips.

You will also need, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, avocado & sprouts. Having everything ready to go will make assembly a lot easier!

Step Three: Assemble & Serve

When the eggplant comes out of the oven, turn the oven to broil. Cut the ciabatta load in half lengthwise and spray with a little oil. Place under the broiler for a couple minutes, or until toasted.

This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com

Place the toasted bread on a cutting board and spread the pesto on the bottom half of the ciabatta. Top with the avocado chunks and gently press the avocado into the pesto. Add the eggplant slices, red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula & sprouts. Spread some of the tahini sauce on the top slice of ciabatta and close the sandwich.

Gently press the sandwich down before slicing it into 5 pieces. Serve the sandwiches with any leftover tahini sauce on the side.

This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com

If you are taking these sandwiches on the go, wrap each one in parchment paper to keep them put together.

You are going to have this sandwich on repeat all spring and summer…it’s that good!

This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com
This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com

Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich

Servings: 5
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce!
5 from 4 ratings

Ingredients

FOR THE EGGPLANT

FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE

FOR THE SANDWICH

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons vegan pesto
  • 2 small avocados cubed, or sub 1 large avocado
  • 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers drained, dried & cut in strips
  • 4 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 handful alfalfa sprouts

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the stem of the eggplant and cut it into quarters, lengthwise. Cut the eggplant quarters into 1/4" strips. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Use a paper towel to remove the salt, and the liquid that has come out of the eggplant.
  • While the eggplant is being salted, add the harissa paste, soy sauce, oil and dry seasonings to a bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.
  • Transfer the eggplant slices to the baking sheet and brush both sides of each slice with a light layer of the harissa sauce. Place in the oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and increase the heat to broil. Spray the sliced ciabatta with some oil and place under the broiler until toasted – be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Remove from the oven.
  • While the eggplant is roasting, prepare the tahini sauce. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add water to thin and adjust the seasonings as needed. Set aside.
  • To assemble, spread the pesto on the bottom half of the ciabatta. Top with the avocado chunks and gently press the avocado into the pesto. Add the eggplant slices, red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula & sprouts. Spread some of the tahini sauce on the top slice of ciabatta and close the sandwich. Gently press the sandwich down before slicing it into 5 pieces. Serve the sandwiches with any leftover tahini sauce on the side.

Video

Notes

  • Be sure to thoroughly dry off the roasted red peppers so they don’t add liquid to the sandwich.
Calories: 490kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 22g
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Course: lunch, Main Course
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below or take a photo and share it on Instagram @thissavoryvegan with #thissavoryvegan.
This Harissa Eggplant Picnic Sandwich is perfect for lunch outings. Made with ciabatta and layered with loads of veggies, pesto & tahini sauce | ThisSavoryVegan.com