Vegetables on the Grill: Roasted Eggplant Sandwich with Basil and Fresh Mozzarella

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Photo Courtesy of Anybody Goes
Adding a few sprigs of dried rosemary, thyme or fennel to the charcoal just ­before grilling ­vegetables gives them savory ­undertones.

<p>Any leftover eggplant is good the next day in a sandwich or tossed with pasta. <em>Makes 4 sandwiches.</em>
<p>• 1 pound eggplant: 1 medium or 2 to 3 small, sliced ½ inch thick<br />
• 1/2 cup Italian-Style Marinade<br />
• Eight to ten 6- to 12-inch dried rosemary branches<br />
• Vegetable oil<br />
• 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced<br />
• 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced<br />
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste<br />
• 12 to 16 large basil leaves<br />
• <a href=””>Basil-Garlic Mayonnaise</a> or about 4 tablespoons olive oil and 1 large clove garlic<br />
• 1 focaccia, cut into fourths or 4 large onion rolls or mini-baguettes, split ­horizontally</p>
<p>1. Marinate the eggplant slices for at least 3 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Just before grilling, throw a handful of rosemary stalks on the coals. Brush the grill lightly with oil.</p>
<p>2. Grill the eggplant over a medium-hot fire. Remove the slices to a plate and lightly toast both sides of the focaccia or rolls.</p>
<p>3. Spread one side of each piece of bread with the mayonnaise or rub it with the garlic clove and drizzle with a little olive oil. Layer the lower half of each sandwich with 1 or 2 slices of eggplant, 1 or 2 slices of mozzarella, 2 or 3 basil leaves, 2 slices of tomato, salt and pepper; add another slice or 2 of eggplant and 1 or 2 more basil leaves. Put on the lid and serve immediately.</p>
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<em>Susan Belsinger, a frequent contributor to</em> The Herb Companion, <em>treats her family to grilled vegetables all summer long. She is the author, with Thomas DeBaggio, of</em> Basil: An Herb Lover’s Guide <em>(1996) and several other books from Interweave Press.</em>
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