"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches

Working at an Italian restaurant in college, I served up a lot of warm plates of eggplant parmesan. It was always served for dinner with potatoes and vegetables, but I would always request to have mine served with warm French bread. I love the eggplant and cheese combination. The secret ingredient in this sandwich is definitely the balsamic vinegar. The tanginess of it complements the creaminess of the cheese and the sweetness of the basil. Add more cheese to this recipe if you are into that!
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches
(Makes 3 sandwiches)

3 whole wheat rolls
2 plum tomatoes, thickly sliced
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1 small eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Ground pepper

1. Sprinkle salt on the eggplant slices and let them rest on a paper towel for about 30 minutes.
2. Heat a double burner grill on high and spray with cooking oil. Cut the rolls in half and grill on the flat side for a few minutes until bread is warm and has grill marks, set aside.
3. Place the eggplant slices flat on the grill and drizzle with olive oil, oregano and ground pepper. Grill for about 3 minutes on one side then flip and cover the grilled side with parmesan cheese. Cover with a piece of foil and grill until cheese is completely melted, about 3 minutes.
4. Spread both halves of the roll generously with marinara sauce. Place the cheesy eggplant on one side and the tomato slices on top of the eggplant. Top with a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a small handful of basil leaves and top it off with the other slice of bread. Press down and enjoy!

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