the mediterranean dog
1. When slicing the eggplant, you'll want the slices to be from the middle most region of the eggplant so you get the biggest slices.
2. Grilling the buns is optional. Instead of completely opening the buns up, risking bun-hinge breakage, I just grill the top of them (right across where they're split), by gently pressing them onto a well oiled grill for about 20-30 seconds. This gives you a little toasty-ness and som nice-looking grill marks.
3. In all of these posts I will be using Lightlife's Jumbo Smart Dogs. Even though I think that the Field Roast Frankfurters are the best overall vegan hot dog, for these posts I must use the biggest possible dogs, because 'Merica.
Six 1/4 inch thick, lengthwise slices of a large eggplant ----->
2 teaspoons dried oregano (or 4 teaspoons fresh chopped)
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 jumbo hot dogs
1 cup hummus
2 tablespoons olive tapenade
2 tablespoons julienned sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled seeded, and sliced (here's how to do that: The Sexy Vegan Roasted Pepper Hummus Episode)
Salt and pepper to taste
light, high heat oil to lube up the grill
6 hot dog buns
sprigs of fresh herbs (italian parsley, cilantro, basil, etc.) for garnish
Thoroughly rinse the slices, and lay them out on paper towels. Lay more paper towels on top and gently press down on the eggplant to remove any excess water. Now they're ready for seasoning.
Heat a well oiled grill or grill pan to medium high. Season the eggplant slices with the oregano, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a few healthy pinches of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Rub the seasonings into both sides of the slices until well coated. Place on the grill. If they don't sizzle, remove and wait a few minutes until the grill gets hotter.
Grill for 2 to 3 minutes then, to be fancy, turn them 45 degrees to get some nice criss-cross grill mark action. Grill like this another 2 minutes. Flip and grill them another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side, until tender. Remove from the grill and set them aside.
Now you can grill your dogs according to package instructions. While the dogs are grilling, lay out the eggplant slices, and give them each a healthy smear of the hummus on whatever side of the eggplant is less pretty, grill mark-wise. Once your dogs are done, wrap them up with the eggplant slices. The hummus will act as the "glue" that will bind the eggplant to the dog. You can toss them back on your well oiled grill after wrapping, just to reheat them for a minute, then place them in the bun.
Top the dogs with the roasted red peppers, olive tapenade, and sun dried tomatoes. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately.