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Eggplant Sandwiches with Spinach and Fontina

Yield 7 servings (serving size: 2 sandwiches and 2 lemon wedges)
Eggplant stands in for bread in this savory and intriguing dish. Dredging the eggplant in polenta adds crunch.


  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut into 28 (1/2-inch-thick) slices
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup dry polenta
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 14 lemon wedges

Nutrition Information

  • calories 236
  • caloriesfromfat 30 %
  • fat 7.9 g
  • satfat 2.5 g
  • monofat 2.1 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 11 g
  • carbohydrate 34.9 g
  • fiber 5.3 g
  • cholesterol 11 mg
  • iron 3.5 mg
  • sodium 695 mg
  • calcium 214 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat broiler.

  2. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place half of eggplant on a baking sheet; broil 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant.

  3. Bring water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add spinach; cover and cook 2 minutes or until wilted. Drain well. Place spinach on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Coarsely chop spinach.

  4. Heat a medium skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice; cook 30 seconds or until liquid evaporates. Combine onion mixture and chopped spinach in a bowl; stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper.

  5. Combine fontina and Parmesan in a small bowl. Working with 1 eggplant slice at a time, spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons spinach mixture evenly over each of 14 eggplant slices; sprinkle each with about 2 teaspoons cheese mixture. Cover with remaining eggplant slices, and gently press together.

  6. Combine milk and egg whites in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Working with 1 sandwich at a time, brush both sides of each sandwich with milk mixture, and dredge in polenta.

  7. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of sandwiches; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining sandwiches. Serve with lemon wedges.