Thursday, January 22, 2009
Working Eater Series: Mozzarella and Eggplant Panini Sandwiches
A sandwich can make an easy, quick, and immensely satisfying meal. Therefore, even for a busy working person, a great meal is just a few bread slices away. But you don't have to settle for a boring, uninspired sandwich made from plain white Wonder bread and cold cuts. Here is my favorite vegetarian sandwich recipe, for fabulous mozzarella and eggplant panini sandwiches.
Mozzarella and Eggplant Panini Sandwiches
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch slices and salted, to taste
2 tbsp of olive oil
8 slices of onion or rye bread (preferably onion rye bread, from Trader Joe's)
12 slices of mozzarella (or enough for two layers on each bread slice, and can use sundried tomatoes, instead, if you do not eat dairy)
1/4 jar of marinara sauce (if you have marinara sauce leftover from making pizza or pasta, this is the sandwich for you)
Parmesan cheese, optional
First, heat a non-stick skillet and fry the eggplant in batches on medium-high heat, coating skillet with olive oil before frying each batch. Place the eggplant aside.
Next, smear one side of each bread slice with a coating of marinara sauce. On four of the bread slices, place a layer of mozzarella cheese, eggplant, and mozzarella cheese. If using Parmesan cheese, sprinkle a little on the surface of the eggplant. Finish the sandwiches by topping it with the remaining bread slices, with the marinara sauce side down. (We're making sandwiches here, so this process is pretty self-explanatory.)
Next, place the assembled sandwiches into a panini press or grill for less than 5 minutes on a medium low setting, depending on the strength of your panini press or grill. The sandwiches should be oozing with cheese, and warm, toasted, and golden-crisp on the outside.
And c'est tout! Serve the sandwiches with warm marinara sauce for dipping.
And if you liked this sandwich idea, check out some others from this site: