Eggplants are one of our favorite vegetables to cook with. They are versatile and taste amazing in so many applications. Roasted eggplant has a soft, texture full of rich flavor and pairs wonderfully with other vegetables.
These roasted eggplant sandwiches are easy to make, most of the work is done in the oven, but they have a depth of flavor that will make these a summer staple in your kitchen. The best part about these sandwiches is the leftovers! Store the ingredients separately and reassemble the next day for a quick lunch that is flavorful and nourishing. Simply re-heat the sandwich in the oven, a Panini press or eat it cold. Don’t be afraid to add or swap ingredients for what you currently have on hand, these babies are perfect for customization!
makes 4 sandwiches
1 large eggplant
1 loaf of bread (we prefer a bread with a crispy crust but these sandwiches are still good on toasted sandwich bread)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella,sliced (enough to cover each sandwich)
½ cup of your favorite greens (we used blanched Lacinato kale leaves)
2 tablespoons of pesto
2 tablespoons of mayo
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400° F
Slice the eggplant into ½ inch slices. Sweat the eggplant by sprinkling it with sea salt and placing the slices between two towels with a large cutting board on top. This will remove excess water, which will keep the eggplant from becoming soggy. This technique also works for zucchini and yellow squash.
Brush a little olive oil on the eggplant and the red pepper and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant and pepper on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
While the veggies are roasting, prepare your spread by mixing together the pesto, mayo, and lemon juice. Store the spread in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.
Cut your bread into thick slices, about ¾ inch. If your greens need blanching now is the perfect time. Kale is a great option for blanching because it is hearty and can withstand the heat. Simply dip the kale into hot water for about 30 seconds, or until it turns beautifully bright green. If you prefer milder flavors, spinach or romaine lettuce are perfect raw compliments.
When the vegetables are finished cooking and slightly cooled, slice the pepper into wide sections that will stack nicely on the sandwich. Layer the eggplant, pepper, and mozzarella cheese on a slice of bread and place it under the boiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Once the cheese is melted, top with greens, the pesto spread and enjoy!