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Roasted Eggplant, Mozzarella, & Red Pepper Sandwich

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that many of my clients feel intimidated to cook. You don’t need to presoak it or make it too complicated. It’s delicious thinly sliced a roasted in a pan or the oven with olive oil. It’s often thought of as native to the Mediterranean, but its origins are of both Asian and African descent. Its rich purple color comes from the plant compound, anthocyanins, which offer both brain and heart health benefits, according to research. I find sandwiches to be a truly satisfying meal! If you don’t have room for a toaster – use a cast iron pan to make toast. Serve with colorful fruit salad to compliment the eggplant. I suggest golden kiwi, blueberries, and mandarin oranges – yum!

Servings: 2 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small eggplant (~ 1lb), cut into thick rounds, ~ ½” thick
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sides cut off and quartered to lay flat
  • 1 plum tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices gluten-free or sourdough bread
  • ½ cup shredded part skim mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: capers, sliced olives

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large baking dish or tray, add eggplant and red pepper. Brush with olive oil to lightly coat all sides of the veggies. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping half way through, until eggplant flesh is fork tender and both veggies are nicely browned.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk balsamic, olive oil, garlic, and a dash of salt and black pepper. Once veggies are cooled to the touch, slice the bell pepper into thin, flat strips. In a medium sized bowl, toss veggies with oil and vinegar mixture.
  3. Toast the bread*: place bread slices, cut side down, in a baking dish or cast iron skillet. Lightly brush tops of bread with olive oil and place under the broiler for 2 minutes, until browned and crispy. *Alternatively, you can toast in a toaster oven or on the stove top in a cast iron pan.
  4. Remove two of the toasted bread slices and set aside. Flip remaining two slices over and cover the (untoasted) cut side with shredded mozzarella (about ¼ cup on each). Place back under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until melted.
  5. Assemble the sandwich: layer sliced eggplant, peppers, tomato, and fresh basil leaves on top of the melted mozzarella. Sprinkle optional capers, sliced olives, and extra small drizzle of balsamic on top. Close the sandwiches with bread tops. Gently press down and slice in half. Enjoy warm.

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Nutrition facts

Per Serving

  • calories: 630
  • carbohydrates: 76g
  • cholesterol: 35mg
  • fat: 26g
  • fiber: 8g
  • potassium: 1065mg
  • protein: 28g
  • saturated fat: 9g
  • sodium: 970mg

Disclaimer: We recognize that some ingredients listed in this recipe may be a trigger food for some people. Please feel free to omit or substitute any ingredients that don’t work for you.


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