Grilled vegetable sandwiches (and vegetable of the month: eggplant)


Eggplant is in season! Packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, eggplants provide more than pretty color in your dishes. These purple beauties called to us at the Farmer’s Market this past weekend. At 50 cents a pop, it was easy to indulge. Since my only experience cooking with eggplant in the past has been a few disastrous tries at eggplant parmigiana, we decided to make eggplant our vegetable of the month for September.

The first preparation we tried was simple grilling for sandwiches. I love this season – so many of my favorite vegetables are coming off the vine at the same time. This sandwich pairs grilled eggplant and zucchini with fresh tomatoes. Throw in some marinated mozzarella, and you’ve got a wonderful end-of-summer dinner that comes together in a snap without heating up your kitchen.

Ingredients (for 4 sandwiches):

  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1-2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (I use Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything, page 91)
  • Olive oil, flavored if you’ve got it. We used Tuscan Herb olive oil from The Olive Mill in Geneva. It was perfect.
  • 2 mini french bread loaves, warmed and sliced in half both lengthwise and crosswise (to make 4 sandwich rolls)
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Slice the mozzarella and marinate in balsamic vinaigrette. Set aside.
  2. Sprinkle a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper onto the tomato slices. Set aside.
  3. Preheat grill. Brush one side of each slice of eggplant and zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place zucchini and eggplant on the grill, oiled side down, for about 5 minutes. Before flipping, brush tops with olive oil. Flip the slices and grill until veggies are tender and grill marks appear on both sides.
  4. Stack the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and cheese onto the sandwich rolls, drizzling with balsamic vinaigrette.

This open-faced view showcases the colors: green zucchini, purple eggplant, white mozzarella, and tomatoes in red and yellow. This sandwich is as pretty as it is delicious.

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