Jan 1, 2006

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

Before I married Mike I hardly treaded on vegetable territory. Wala lang, my mom just never forced us to eat vegetables.

Midway through this 10-year marriage though I found myself wanting vegetables. The first time I cooked Mike some Beef with Ampalaya, Mike exclaimed, "Himala! Uso pa pala ang himala!" His surprise is mainly due to the fact that it was I who bought the vegetables; and that I cooked them and ate them without being told. Since then I've been initiated into this acquired taste. :)

One time on a date with my 'sis' Claire, we ate at Figaro, and looking for a sandwich to balance the meaty Carbonara we were having, I saw Grilled Eggplant sandwich on the menu, and decided to give it a try. It has been my favorite since.

As you know I always try to replicate my favorite eat-out items. I served Grilled Eggplant sandwich (to complement the Penne with Mexican-Bolognese sauce) when my cousins came to visit two days ago. Here's my recipe. :)


1 large or 2 medium eggplants, washed and sliced thinly, into 3" lengths
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t iodized salt
1/2 t finely ground black pepper
1 med. red bell pepper
1 med. lettuce, shredded (salad style)
2 salad tomatoes, sliced into rings
1 med. cucumber, sliced into rings
1 med. onion, sliced into rings
cheddar cheese, sliced
1 loaf oat malt paton (or foccacia, or whichever bread you prefer)

Marinate eggplant slices in olive oil, salt and pepper for at least 30 minutes. While waiting, slice bread lengthwise and then into individual slices, crosswise. Set aside. (Better to cover with cling wrap to prevent hardening.)

Grill eggplant slices and bell pepper on stovetop or charcoal grill for about 15 secs. each side.
While waiting for the rest of the eggplant slices to cook, slice the red bell pepper into thin strips.

Afterwards, assemble sandwiches: spread some mayonnaise on the bottom half of the bread, put about two or three shreds of lettuce, top with a slice of cucumber, tomato and onion and about 2 strips of bell pepper. Top with 2-3 slices of grilled eggplant (depending on the width of your bread) and a slice of cheddar cheese. Squirt a little mustard, another slice of lettuce (if desired.. you can't have too much greens!) then the other half of the bread. Pierce with cocktail toothpick to keep them together.

Makes about 15 mini (2" x 3") sandwiches. Enjoy! :)