I just love it when people stop me and want to share a cooking experience. Just this morning, a co-worker of mine, LoAnn Stadstad, called me aside as I wasÂ leaving the building to tell me about her recent experience with eggplant.
LoAnn said she had an eggplant that was starting to get soft and was wondering want she could fix. She happened to be watching chef Bobby Flay on TV, and guess what? He was preparing something with eggplant â€” a sandwich with roastedÂ red peppers. LoAnn proceeded to tell me about the episode and how she fixed her delicious sandwich.
One of the reasons I’m so happy she told me about the recipe is that we have three eggplants in the refrigerator vegetable crisper that were harvested from our garden just the other day. I also have some sweet red bell peppers that are ready to be picked, so getting the recipe was timely.
Here it is for those who are interested. I’ve always been a big fan of Bobby Flay and can’t wait to try the sandwich.
Grilled Eggplant Sandwich
Â½ cup prepared mayonnaise
4 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium eggplant, sliced crosswise
2 red bell peppers
1 loaf ciabatta, sliced lengthwise in half
Â½ pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Fresh basil leaves
Combine the mayonnaise and garlic in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Heat a grill to high.
Brush the eggplant on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Brush the peppers with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until charred on all sides, remove, place in a bowl, cover and let steam for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and the seeds.
Put bread on the grill, cut side down, and grill for 30 seconds to warm through and crisp slightly. Spread the bread with the mayonnaise mixture and top the bottom half with eggplant, peppers, cheese, basil and arugula. Cover with the top of the bread and serve.