Grilled Eggplant, Goat Cheese, and Sun-dried Tomato Burger
- 12 oz goat cheese log
- 3 tablespoons flour
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten for egg wash
- 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
- vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
- 4 thick slices eggplant
- olive oil for brushing
- 4 plain or sourdough burger buns (I bought pretzel buns from Trader Joe’s – yum)
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 1 cup arugula
- balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup spicy tomato relish (see below for recipe)
Divide the goat cheese log into four equal parts – mold into patty shapes carefully so the cheese doesn’t crumble apart. Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow, wide dish. Coat cheese in the following order: dip into flour and cover both sides. Dip into egg wash and then into the panko crumbs. Press panko crumbs into goat cheese firmly. Dip into egg wash a second time and again into the panko. It is important to double coat to prevent the cheese from oozing into the fryer oil. Chill cheese patties in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat to 350 degrees F.
Heat a cast iron pan grill until very hot, brush eggplant slices with olive oil, and grill them until cooked to a golden color, about 3 minutes on each side. (I cheated and used my roommate’s panini press.)
Fry the goat cheese burgers for 3-4 minutes until golden, then drain well on paper towels. Toast the burger buns on both sides.
Toss the arugula with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper.
Assemble burgers by topping the base with the eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese burger, tomato relish, and arugula. Serve with leftover relish.
Spicy Tomato Garlic Relish