Tower of Eggplant (Updated)

Update from Aug. 1: I took leftovers for lunch and made it cold, and used feta cheese instead of goat cheese. It was even better. I still used a potato roll but toasted it, which, again, proved to be an improvement.

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. It's earthy, savory and melds with other flavors without losing its own. I used to be stumped about how to prepare it at home, though, until I took a cooking class a year or two ago that focused solely on eggplant. I've found that grilling is an easy way to get eggplant slices tender and flavorful enough for a variety of recipes, from lasagna to baked/breaded roll-ups. We had some potato rolls left over from the weekend, so sandwiches made sense. The goat cheese added a tangy creaminess to the hearty eggplant and tomato, which I enjoyed, but if I did it again I'd use a better, crust-ier bread. The rolls got a little soggy and I think a better bread would also give it a satisfying crunch.

Also - I try to avoid cooking with salt, but I use a little salt here. Very little. But when I'm grilling vegetables I've found that a little kosher salt draws out the flavor in a noticeable way. That being said, it's not absolutely necessary.

Total time to cook: 15 minutes
Makes four sandwiches

1 small eggplant, slice width-wise into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup goat cheese (large chunks or slices)
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
Bread (something with a good crust)

- Heat a grill pan over medium heat (or use a real grill if you're lucky to have one.)
- As the pan is heating, brush one side of the eggplant slices with olive oil.
- Season with a little salt on each and a light dusting of pepper.
- When the pan is hot, cook the eggplant, starting with the seasoned sides down.
- Grill for about five minutes on each side (or until you have full grill marks and the eggplant is soft and translucent), turning them midway to make grill marks.
- Put the eggplant slices aside.
- Briefly grill the tomato slices, no more than 1 minute per side.
- Build the sandwich: an eggplant slice, a tomato slice, a quarter of the goat cheese and repeat.
- Serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment