Grilled Eggplant and Brie Sandwiches with Olive Tapenade

recipe
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.

Yield:

Makes 2 sandwiches

Recipe from

Sunset

Nutritional 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

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

Preparation

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.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per sandwich.

Note:

Charis Janda, Santa Rosa, CA,

Sunset

July 2009
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