Whether you miss bacon since you became a vegetarian/vegan or not, you can always 'baconize' vegetables infusing all of the meat's delicious aspects into your plant-based meal. Bacon is appealing for its salty, smoky, tangy and slightly sweet taste combined with the crunchiness and greasiness that perfectly combines with juicy tomatoes and fresh lettuce leaves in the classic sandwich BLT.
For this delicious Vegan BLT -- Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich -- we kept the L and the T, but replaced the pork with grilled eggplants, which we marinated in a sweet and smoky sauce. Eggplant does an amazing job of soaking up flavors and it cooks up tender adding some bulk and juicy goodness into the sandwich. For creaminess, we swapped conventional mayo for a delicious Sriracha cashew mayo (or Vegenaise), that just adds the right balance of flavors and textures together with a spicy edge, and it's also, super easy to make!
1. Gather the ingredients
- 1 eggplant
- 2 brown bread slices
- a couple of romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 ripe tomato
Eggplant bacon sauce:
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 tsp of liquid smoke
- 1 cup of raw cashews
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp of Sriracha sauce
- a pinch of marine salt
2. Make the eggplant bacon sauce
In a medium bowl, stir together the soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Slice and marinate the eggplants in the mix for about 20 minutes or until they have soaked up the juices.
3. Cook the eggplants
Grill or cook the soaked eggplants on a large skillet for about 3-5 minutes until marinade cooks off. Work in batches and cook on both sides.
4. Prep the veggies
Wash, dry and slice the tomato, and cut lettuce leaves to the length of the bread.
5. Make the Sriracha Vegenaise
Soak the cashews for 4-8 hours, drain and rinse. Process until a thick paste forms, add lemon juice, Sriracha, salt and some water or oil if you need to, until you get the right creamy texture.
6. Assemble the sandwich
Toast the bread and add a spoonful of mayo on each slice. Add the eggplant, followed by lettuce and then tomato slices, slice in half and enjoy your deliciously smoky sweet vegan BLT!
Images © Ana Lisa Alperovich