A Family That Eats Together: Grilled Eggplant, Red Pepper, and Tomato Focaccia Sandwiches
May 28, 2012Posted by pamela |
Marin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike. Nicole is also the creator of the new Little Froglet line of children's activewear.
Nicole's meal plan for this week features tacos and tostadas al pastor, chicken meatball soup, rocket pesto with linguini, and this grilled eggplant, red pepper, and tomato focaccia sandwich.
What I love about grilling are the endless combinations of vegetables that can be grilled. Grilling imparts a smoky and more complex flavor to each type of vegetable that you just can’t get from any other cooking method. The key is low temperature grilling using marinades and fruity oils so that the vegetables don’t stick. In this recipe, I use herbed goat cheese to round out the flavors of the sandwich. If you can’t find focaccia, use a good fresh loaf of bread. Serve with a side salad or tomato salad.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 1 large eggplant, sliced ¼” thick
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced ¼” thick
- herbed goat cheese
- 1 loaf of focaccia or your favorite fresh bread, sliced into sandwich sized pieces
- basil leaves
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 3 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- ½ tsp sea salt
In a large bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar, oil, thyme, rosemary and salt. Toss in the eggplant to combine and well saturate it. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Bring goat cheese to room temperature.
Heat grill. One side to high and the other side to medium-low. Place the whole pepper on the hottest side of the grill. Place the eggplant on the medium-low side of the grill. Turn the pepper until it chars on all sides. Remove and place in a paper bag and seal. Let it steam for 10 minutes. Flip the eggplant over after approximately 7-8 minutes. You are looking for nice grill marks on both sides and for the eggplant to have become soft.
While cooking the vegetables, place the bread on the grill to heat up. Be careful so that it doesn’t burn which can happen fast.
To clean the pepper, remove it from the bag and gently scrap the skin off including all the charred bits. Remove all seeds and core. Slice into thin strips.
Assemble the sandwich by slathering the cheese onto the bread. Layer the eggplant, red pepper and tomato. Top with fresh basil leaves and the top piece of bread.