I had some extra eggplant in my fridge because I’m not always good at visualizing how much a cup is in the grocery store. I needed 6 cups for a recipe I’m sharing soon and ending up with enough to feed a small militia. Whoopsie… So I started looking for ideas on what to do with some of my eggplant (and I still have some leftover!) when this little masterpiece came to me.
This was a totally simple and healthy dinner that capitalized on fresh produce. I loved the flavors of roasted veggies, basil pesto, creamy goat cheese, and peppery arugula. If you’re weary about eggplant, this may be a good recipe to start with because you can easily control the texture since its cooked independently of everything else technically. Make sure to roast it until its really tender otherwise its going to have a funky, spongy texture that might not appeal to you.
- 8 half inch thick slices of eggplant
- 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 4 (1 -ounce) slices ciabatta bread (make ’em thicker for sure if you’re not watching calories! I love bread, but am trying to limit how much I take in each day)
- 2 TBS basil pesto, homemade or store bought
- 1 c. baby arugula
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 c. (2 oz.) soft goat cheese
- Red onion slices, optional
- Preheat broiler
- Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant with 1 tsp. oil.
- Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Arrange bell pepper halves, skin side up on baking sheet with eggplant; flatten with hand. Broil 4 minutes; turn eggplant over (do not turn pepper over). Broil an additional 4 minutes; remove eggplant from pan. Broil pepper an additional 7 minutes or until blackened. Place pepper in a zip-lock bag; seal. Let stand for 15 minutes; peel and discard skin.
- Broil bread slices for 2 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Spread 1 TBS pesto on each of two bread slices. Layer each bread slice, pesto side up, with two slices of eggplant, 1 roasted red pepper, and 2 more eggplant slices and red onion slices if desired. Toss arugula with remaining 1 tsp oil and black pepper; divide arugula mixture evenly between sandwiches. Spread 2 TBS goat cheese over each of 2 remaining slices of bread and place on sandwiches.
Cooking Light, October 2009