Sabich Sandwiches (Pitas With Eggplant, Eggs, Hummus, and Tahini) Recipe

Sabich Sandwiches (Pitas With Eggplant, Eggs, Hummus, and Tahini) Recipe

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik. Video: Serious Eats Video]

Falafel may get all the attention, but the sabich, another popular Tel Aviv snack food, has won my heart. Filled with moist slices of fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, a generous layer of creamy hummus, crunchy Israeli pickles, and Israeli salad, and drizzled with tahini sauce and amba, a pickled-mango sauce, it's all you could want in any sandwich, and more.

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Why It Works

  • Salting the diced tomato drains off excess water, concentrating the flavor and improving the texture.
  • Sprinkling the fried eggplant with salt while it's still hot ensures that it will adhere.
  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 40 minutes
  • Total time:40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 plum tomatoes (7 ounces; 200g), cored and diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3/4 pound Italian eggplant (about 1 medium eggplant; 350g), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 large seedless cucumber (7 ounces; 200g), diced
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cored head cabbage (7 ounces; 200g), thinly shredded
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) white wine vinegar
  • 4 fresh rounds pita bread, warmed and split just enough to form a pocket
  • 3/4 cup homemade or store-bought hummus (6 ounces; 170g)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) homemade or store-bought tahini sauce (note that tahini and tahini sauce are different products)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
  • Israeli pickles, for serving (see note above)
  • Amba sauce, for serving (see note above)

Directions

  1. 1.

    Place tomatoes in a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl and toss with a generous pinch of salt. Let stand 30 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, heat 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if necessary, fry eggplant slices, rotating for even browning and turning once halfway through, until golden on both sides and tender throughout, about 5 minutes; lower heat if oil begins to smoke. Transfer eggplant to a paper towel–lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.

  3. 3.

    Transfer tomatoes to a medium bowl and discard drained liquid. Add cucumber, lemon juice, and parsley to tomatoes. Season Israeli salad with salt to taste and mix well.

  4. 4.

    In a medium bowl, toss cabbage with vinegar and season with salt.

  5. 5.

    In each pita pocket, smear 3 tablespoons (45ml) of hummus in an even layer. Layer 2 to 3 slices fried eggplant on top of each. Drizzle each with 1 tablespoon (15ml) tahini sauce, then top with sliced eggs, Israeli pickles, and remaining tahini sauce. Spoon some of the Israeli salad into each pita, drizzle with amba, and serve.