Pesto Eggplant Parmesan Grilled Cheese
Eggplant Parmesan is a divine dish even for eggplant haters, but it is typically loaded with fat from frying the eggplant and then putting sauce and loads of cheese on top. It takes a bit of work, too, to do all that. This sandwich is superb simplicity. It’s eggplant parmesan without all the work. Even easier if you happen to have roasted or grilled up some slices of eggplant you can just take out of the fridge … and if you have pesto in the freezer (like I do) and homemade bread that needs to be used up, it’s a breeze!
I think eggplant is one of those things you either love or hate. As a child, I hated eggplant, but years ago, a vegetarian friend of mine converted me by serving eggplant parmesan for dinner one day and now I adore eggplant. I think it has a nice buttery taste to it. Some others find it bitter, but I taste absolutely no bitterness. To me, it tastes hearty and good and when served with tomato, it’s like butter. I hope you are on the eggplant lover side of the equation because if so, you are going to LOVE this sandwich!
I made this sandwich for dinner tonight after returning home from the lake. Right when I walked in the door, my son wanted to go to the store to get groceries and I thought I had better go right away or it wouldn’t get done, so we just went. And by the time I got back from the store, I realized that our late breakfast had worn off and I was feeling almost weak with hunger. I thought of the eggplant that I roasted that morning for breakfast and took a look at the bread on the counter and decided it was a sandwich waiting to happen. A few minutes later I had this gorgeous sandwich in my mouth and a nice, cold beer to go with it. Ah! A perfect ending to a lovely weekend at the lake.
- Light butter (or softened butter)
- 2 very thin slices of bread
- 1 Tablespoon or so of basil pesto
- Thin-sliced, roasted (or grilled) eggplant slices (warm!)
- Thin-sliced fresh garden tomato
- Sliced mozzarella and parmesan cheese
- Butter the bottom of the first slice of bread and set it on your pan, butter side down. Spread the top with a thin layer of pesto and cover with a layer of cheese. Add a layer of eggplant slices, then tomato, then top with cheese. Spread a thin layer of pesto on the inside side of the 2nd slice of bread and set it on top, then butter the top side of that slice.
- Set the pan on medium-low to medium heat, cover and cook, checking frequently, until the bottom is nicely browned and the cheese on bottom is melted. Lower the heat a bit and flip the sandwich over.
- Cook until the bottom is browned and the cheese on the other side is melty too.
- Enjoy while it's still hot!
To make this sandwich gluten free, use gluten free bread.
To roast the eggplant: preheat oven to 400 or heat up the grill. Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and any desired seasonings. Grill/roast for a few minutes on one side, flip and roast until both sides are a little browned and the eggplant is tender.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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This recipe was shared at Munching Monday, Mostly Homemade Monday, Treasure Box Tuesday, Simple Supper Tuesday, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Clever Chicks Bloghop, Recipe Swap, What to Do Weekends and Hearth & Soul Bloghop.