Thursday, June 2, 2011

Open-Faced Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

Hey there. Hello. Hola. It's been a while. A long while. But don't fret, I've still been eating - and eating well every single day. I just haven't gotten around to posting much. I know, I'm selfish... Keeping all those good recipes to myself. Well, here's to changing that.

Although I value protein highly in my diet, sometimes I just crave a meatless meal (not that all meatless meals are low in protein, but it is more difficult to get a decent amount in a meatless meal). I have always liked the idea of one meatless meal a week, and with Gabe back to the grind stone and taking classes twice weekly, I have two great opportunities to satisfy this craving.

On the menu this week? Grilled eggplant open-faced sandwiches. Piled high with vegetables and cheese, each bite is packed with flavor. And the best part? It all comes together in less than 15 (10?) minutes. Enjoy!

2 slices of hearty bread
4 eggplant rounds, approximately 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick
1/2 Tbs. olive oil + more for brushing bread
1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
Herbs de Provence, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Tbs. mayonnaise
Spinach and tomato slices
1 oz. mozzarella cheese

Fire up the outdoor grill or inside grill pan, and preheat oven to the broil setting.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Brush over both sides of eggplant rounds, then sprinkle with Herbs de Provence, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Grill until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Additionally, brush bread with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes per side.

Assemble open-faced sandwiches by spreading mayo on each piece of toasted bread, then layering on spinach and tomato slices. Top with grilled eggplant and cheese (Note: I had to slice eggplant rounds in half). Pop sandwiches into the oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and serve.

Note: If you're interested in other meatless meals, check out Ezra Pound Cake blog. She hosts a great Meatless Monday feature with some really great recipe ideas.

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