If you are a regular reader of this fledgling blog (Hey who am I kidding here? I don’t even think my dearly loved sister is herself a regular reader. But I can dream, can’t I?), you will note that the sandwiches here have a strong carnivore bent and as one kind reader was astute enough to note, had a bit of a “Dagwood” style. For that I blame Anders as he eats way more sandwiches than I do and so it stands to reason that this blog is populated with his preferred dinner choices. This next one is born of a weekend’s inspiration and my winning the battle in Kitchen Central! I love eggplants, even if they seem to hate the soil in my garden – which must be the reason why although I can get squash and tomatoes to grow in profusion, healthy growing eggplants continue to elude me.
Lucky for me we live close to a well-stocked Middle-Eastern supermarket which never seems to run out of eggplants. Thanks to them I was able to make this tomato eggplant marriage come to life. (P.S. The tomatoes are from our garden). An advanced warning; this recipe is not one you slap together in 10 minutes. It takes a little thought and might be best accomplished over a lazy weekend day. I have been known to do this in the middle of the week but it does take a wee bit of planning.
- 1 medium eggplant (about 6 inches long)
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 2 quarter inch thick slices of onions
- 2 cups of basil leaves
- 1 cup roasted tomato pesto
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 slices bread
Peel oregano and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place slices in colander and toss with 1 tsp salt. Place the colander in the sink and allow to sit for about a hour. This salting of the eggplant draws out some of the liquid in the vegetable making for a firmer textured end product.
While you are waiting for the eggplant, make a flavoured oil to apply to the eggplant. Place the olive oil in a small bowl. Finely chop the oregano and thyme, mash the garlic clove and add the the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To grill the eggplant, place a grill pan on a burner on the stove and set heat on medium high. This can be done just as well on an outdoor grill. In fact, it is my preferred way but I just happened to be doing this indoor on a work night. Remove the eggplant slices from the colander and tap lightly with a paper towel to absorb any surface liquid. Use a pastry brush to light brush the flavoured oil on to both sides of the eggplant. Place on grill and grill each side until there are well defined grill marks. Do not burn!
In the meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and rinse the remaining loose basil leaves. You’ll need these to make the stacks.
Lightly toast the slices of bread and get ready to make the stacks. If the roasted tomato pesto is not warm, reheat in the microwave until warm. Take a slice of bread and add 1 tbs of roasted tomato pesto. Add the following ingredients in this order: 1 slice eggplant, 1 tsp pesto, 2 basil leaves, 1 slice tomato. You can choose to stop here or, if you are feeling like making a Dagwoodesque sandwhich, repeat and have an even higher stack. Top off the stack with a drizzle of pesto and a sprinkle of grated parmesan.
Grab a knife and fork and enjoy. This is good by itself as a light dinner or with some grilled fish/meat/chicken for a more hearty repast. I served it with grilled chicken.
Note: Add a little extra sauce, some rice, grilled chicken, and you can use this stack for a completely different meal as shown here: