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Grilled Eggplant and Brie Sandwiches with Olive Tapenade

Yield Makes 2 sandwiches
Time: about 1 hour. Charis Janda had trouble finding a restaurant that made eggplant sandwiches, so she invented this very tasty one. If you don't have time to make the tapenade, just substitute your favorite store-bought kind. The sandwich then takes 40 minutes to make.

Ingredients

  • Eggplant
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • About 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Tapenade
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 or 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup pitted mixed brined olives (such as Niçoise, picholine, or Cerignola)
  • 2 tablespoons oil-packed dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sandwiches and assembly
  • 1 cup loosely packed mixed baby lettuces
  • Your favorite herb salad dressing
  • 4 freshly cut thick slices (3/4 in.) from a sourdough French loaf
  • About 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces ripe brie cheese, sliced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, rinsed, peeled, and cut into 1-in. strips
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 1223
  • caloriesfromfat 76 %
  • protein 22 g
  • fat 103 g
  • satfat 22 g
  • carbohydrate 61 g
  • fiber 8.2 g
  • sodium 2417 mg
  • cholesterol 58 mg

How to Make It

  1. Prepare eggplant: Slice into 1/2-in.-thick rounds. Sprinkle both sides with salt and let sit 1/2 hour. Pat dry, brush with oil, and cook over medium heat in a large cast-iron skillet on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes total.

  2. Meanwhile, make tapenade: Put garlic and anchovies to taste in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Add olives, tomatoes, capers, basil, and pepper to taste and pulse to combine. Add oil and pulse until combined but still a little bit chunky.

  3. Make sandwiches: Toss lettuce with a minimal amount of dressing. Spread 1 side of 2 bread slices with 2 tbsp. tapenade each. Brush other 2 slices with oil on 1 side, then turn over and top with most of brie, lettuce, red pepper strips, and eggplant, dividing evenly. Add remaining brie and top with tapenade-spread bread slices, with tapenade side down. Brush tops of sandwiches with olive oil and season with pepper.

  4. Reheat cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Put sandwiches in skillet and cook, turning once until golden brown and cheese is gooey, about 5 minutes total.

  5. Note: Nutritional analysis is per sandwich.