Monday, December 24, 2007

Eggplant and Smoked Gouda Open-Faced Grilled Sandwiches

There was this great eggplant sandwich recipe from Gourmet that I had copied, which I had to make some changes to. It required grilling on charcoal, which is not practical for me. But it sounded great, so I had to try it with a regular grill. Which is my panini maker:)

And although the recipe was for open-faced sandwich, you can make it a regular sandwich and use your panini maker to complete it.

I have substituted zucchini with eggplant, or I have just added zucchini. I have switched the cheeses around with different breads etc, and they all came out great.

Can't really top this sandwich to take for lunch with you:) Or serve next to a salad during summer. Yum!


1 lb tomatoes, finely chopped (2 1/2 cups)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or mashed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste
1 (8-oz) piece smoked cheese such as Gouda, mozzarella, or scamorza
4 (3/4-inch-thick) slices country-style bread (from an 8-inch round loaf)
2 (1-lb) eggplants

Stir together tomatoes, garlic, parsley, 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Tomato mixture can be made 30 minutes ahead and kept at room temperature.

With a cheese plane or vegetable peeler, shave half of cheese into thin slices (if using mozzarella, thinly slice half of it with a knife) and cover slices with plastic wrap, reserving remaining piece for another use.

Brush bread on both sides with 1 tablespoon oil per slice.

Trim off top and bottom of each eggplant, then cut 2 (1-inch-thick) slices lengthwise from center of each eggplant, discarding remainder. Brush cut sides with 3 tablespoons oil (total) and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Grill eggplant using a panini maker or a ridged grill pan over moderate heat, turning occasionally, 10 to 13 minutes, then top with cheese. Transfer eggplant to a large baking sheet and broil about 3 inches from preheated broiler until cheese is just melted, about 1 minute.

Transfer eggplant with spatula to platter.

Next, grill the bread. Transfer grilled bread to 4 plates and spoon tomato mixture on top. Drizzle evenly with remaining tablespoon oil and top with eggplant. Season with pepper to taste.

Or if you want to make it a sandwich, using the panini maker or a sandwich maker, grill the bread together with all the ingredients.

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