Recipe: Grilled Mozzarella, Eggplant, Tomato and Pesto Sandwich
This sandwich is a far cry from the grilled cheese sandwiches I used to make in the toaster oven — the ones with processed American cheese slices and hothouse tomatoes. There’s still a place in my heart for those. But for now, I’m having a lot of fun creating crazy new grilled cheese concepts. I worried that I had made the sandwich too complicated; that it would fall apart when we tried to eat it. But this thing was heaven, and it really wasn’t that messy.
- 1 medium eggplant, stemmed and sliced lengthwise in 1/4-inch slices
- 4 slices sourdough or similarly dense bread
- Butter or margarine
- 4 teaspoons basil pesto
- 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan
- 4 ounces part-skim mozzarella, sliced (or more, if you like your sandwiches cheesier)
- 2 small or 1 large tomato, sliced in 1/4-inch slices
Arrange the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet, salt and pepper them lightly, and put them in under the broiler, on low, for about 5-10 minutes, or until they have just started to brown. Remove them from the oven and set aside.
Lightly butter four slices of bread. Place them on a plate or cutting board, butter side down. Slather the other side of the bread with pesto; one tablespoon per slice.
Layer two of the slices with enough cheese to cover the bread, followed by two slices of eggplant (trying not to overlap the eggplant slices), a teaspoon of grated Parmesan, tomato slices, and more mozzarella. Top each with the remaining slices of bread, pesto side down.
Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Place one sandwich on the skillet, and cover with a lid. After about two minutes, or when the bread has just started to brown, carefully flip with a large spatula. You might want to guide the top of the sandwich with your other hand as you flip.
Replace the lid and cook for another two minutes, or until the bread has started to lightly brown. Remove the sandwich from the skillet, slice it in half or quarters, and serve immediately.
Makes 4 grilled cheese sandwiches.
This recipe was written by Jessica Webster and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Sept. 28, 2011.