Gladiator Bun

Recipe courtesy of Rome'n Chariot
Show: Eat St. Episode: When in Rome
Prep: 1 hr 15 min
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 1 hr 15 min
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Salt
  • 1 jar tomato sauce
  • 1 container whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup white breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 4 to 5 pieces veal, pounded and tenderized
  • 4 fresh Kaiser buns, halved
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
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For the eggplant: Cover a large baking sheet with a paper towel. Lay the eggplant slices over in a single layer, sprinkling pinches of salt over the surface. Cover with another paper towel and repeat with another layer. Let the eggplants sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will draw any excess water out of the vegetable, making it better for frying.

Bring the tomato sauce to a boil in a pot. Reduce the heat gradually every 7 minutes until the sauce reaches a slow simmer.

Mix together the breadcrumbs, basil, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder and some salt and black pepper in a large shallow container. Whisk together the eggs in another large shallow container. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg, and then coat both sides in the breadcrumb mixture.

For frying and assembly: Heat a large frying pan over medium heat until hot.

Meanwhile, saute the onions and green peppers for 2 to 3 minutes in a small pan and set aside.

Pour 1/2 cup of the grapeseed oil into the hot pan. Watch for ribbons forming in the oil, then add the eggplant slices one at a time in a single layer. Depending on the size, it is important to only cook as many as the pan allows for. Fry until a light caramel color, then flip and fry the other side. Transfer to a flat paper-towel-lined plate.

Once all of the eggplant has been fried, pour in the remaining oil and repeat the same process with the veal, transferring to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Place a spoonful of onions and green peppers on the bottom of the buns, topped with a spoonful of the tomato sauce. Cut the veal in half or in thirds to make them the same size as the buns. Add 3 layers of veal to each bun, then sprinkle with mozzarella and a bit more of the tomato sauce. Layer 3 to 4 eggplant slices on top. Sprinkle some of the mozzarella again, top with more tomato sauce and finish with a dusting of the Parmesan. Place the top buns on and voila! Behold the Gladiator on a Bun!


This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens have not it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.



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