Transform sandwich night with this hearty veggie-laden stacker. You can peel the eggplant, but the sandwiches are prettier with the deep-purple skin intact. Rich goat cheese adds another dimension of flavor.
8 (1/2-inch-thick) eggplant slices
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 large red bell pepper
4 (1-ounce) slices ciabatta bread
2 tablespoons refrigerated pesto
1 cup baby arugula
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (2 ounces) soft goat cheese
How to Make It
Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant with 1 teaspoon oil. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Arrange bell pepper halves, skin sides up, on baking sheet with eggplant; flatten with hand. Broil 4 minutes; turn eggplant over (do not turn bell pepper over). Broil an additional 4 minutes; remove eggplant from pan. Broil bell pepper an additional 7 minutes or until blackened. Place bell pepper in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand for 15 minutes; peel and discard skin.
Broil bread slices for 2 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on each of 2 bread slices. Layer each bread slice, pesto side up, with 2 eggplant slices, 1 bell pepper half, and 2 eggplant slices. Toss arugula with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and black pepper; divide arugula mixture evenly between sandwiches. Spread 2 tablespoons goat cheese over each of 2 remaining bread slices; place, cheese side down, on sandwiches.
OH MY GAWD, this was really good. I did take two recommendations from previous commentors. I added balsamic vinegar to the arugula (actually my store had NO arugula so I used watercress. The peppery nature of watercress was excellent). I also used my GF sandwich machine to press the sandwiches. MMMMM.
I made my own pesto. I watch my fat so when I make pesto, I substitute water for some of the oil. The way I do it is, make the pesto in the blender For this recipe I used the following and still had more pesto let over:â¢1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
2 Tblspns extra virgin olive oil
1/6 cup pine nuts or walnuts (I mixed both)
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
BLEND, then add water (I add water and less oil, I added water a little at a time so as not to be overly watery)
Let it sit the the fridge and it becomes thick. MMMMMM and less fat.
This is really a great tasting sandwich! I used bottled roasted peppers because I didn't have fresh on hand - grilled them along with the eggplant. My ciabatta was pretty flat so I sliced it lengthwise and grilled it as well. The sweet and bitter eggplant along with the creamy tangy goat cheese and earthiness of the pesto combined with sweetness again from the roasted pepper and the spicy arugula made it wonderful - my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Next time I will pull some of the center of the bread out - the filling was slipping out with every bite. Make this tonight!!
Wonderful! I grilled the eggplant and skipped the arugula. Bottled roasted red peppers worked for some, but I also used some peppers I grilled along with the eggplant and they had the right flavor as well. Most people said that the skins were tough to bite through and to peel them before/after cooking, but they enhanced the appearance and didn't bother me.
This was really tasty. My only problems were that 1) I used regular eggplant and there was no way that 8 pieces of eggplant would fit on 2 sandwiches. Next time I'll use japanese eggplant. 2) The only ciabatta bread I could find was pretty low profile, making the sandwiches pretty tiny. I'll have to look for better bread next time.
That said, the combination of creamy, rich goat cheese, spicy arugula and bland eggplant on toasty bread with tangy pesto was great!
Excellent sandwich. Rather than store-bought, subbed cilantro pesto (leftover from CL's halibut with citrus couscous) and lightly toasted the bread rather than broiling. The tomato-parmesan soup (used milk instead of half-and-half) made it a very good meal.
These are amazing—both easy and tasty! I forgot to put the arugula on my sandwich last night, but they were so good that we're having them again tonight for dinner, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that enhances the sandwich. I highly recommend this one!