Sabich (Israeli Roast Eggplant, Hummus and Pickle Sandwiches)


This popular Iraqi-Israeli dish features herbs, tomatoes, roast eggplant, and boiled potato and eggs stuffed in a pita.

Israeli Roast Eggplant, Hummus and Pickle Sandwiches
Photo: © Johnny Valiant
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr

Sabich comes from the suburbs of Tel Aviv, where an influx of Iraqi Jews settled in the 1950s. It is named for the Arabic word for morning, as it was originally a breakfast sandwich. Observant Jews who followed the rule to not cook after sundown on Friday could fry or roast eggplant, boil eggs and potatoes, and prepare any other components in advance, and then eat this sandwich before heading to temple Saturday morning. Today, sabich is eaten throughout the day, from street vendors and at sabich stands in open-air food markets.

At Butcher & Bee in Charleston, S.C., owner Michael Shemtov and chef Stuart Tracy offer this messy, incredibly tasty vegetarian sandwich on their menu. They fill a house-baked pita with vegetables, hummus, and herbs from the garden right behind the restaurant. Hummus and tahini are spread inside the pita before it's filled with the vegetables and a fresh Israeli salad of cucumber, tomato, garlic, and parsley. "The sabich is Iraqi-Israeli, just like me," Shemtov says. "It's a personal dish."


  • 1 large baking potato

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for brushing)

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice)

  • 1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 large jalapeño, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 thick pita breads, warmed

  • 1 cup hummus

  • ¼ cup tahini (at room temperature)

  • 4 large hard-cooked eggs, sliced

  • 4 small dill pickles, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place potato in a small saucepan and cover with 2 inches water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook until potato is just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool, then peel potato and slice it 1/4 inch thick. Season the potato slices with salt.

  2. Meanwhile, arrange eggplant slices on a rimmed baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and bake until browned and tender, about 10 minutes.

  3. Place cucumber, tomato, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, and parsley in a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Cut off 2 inches from the side of the warm pitas to make openings in the pockets. Gently open pitas. Spread hummus on bottoms and 1 tablespoon of tahini over it. Layer potato slices, eggplant, egg, and cucumber-tomato salad in pitas, along with some of the salad juices. Top with pickle slices and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Dry, raspberry-scented rosé.

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