Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches
Eggplants and onions are caramelized in the oven then refreshed with a sprinkling of lemon juice and chives. For a gourmet spin on this roasted veggie sandwich, slather the bread with pesto on one side and rosemary cannellini bean spread on the other.
This recipe comes to us from Cara and Phoebe of Big Girls, Small Kitchen.
See all sandwich recipes.
For the chive pesto
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 Cup cashews, toasted
- 2 Cups chives, chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 Cup olive oil
- Salt, to taste
For the bean spread
- One 15-ounce can cannellini white beans, drained and rinsed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Teaspoons rosemary
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
For the sandwich
- 2 medium-sized eggplants, quartered and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 2 red onions, quartered and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/4 Cup olive oil
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons chives
- 1 loaf sourdough or country white bread, cut into 12 slices
Calories Per Serving556
Folate equivalent (total)180µg45%
Perfect Roasted Eggplant
Wow, is this roasted eggplant full of flavor! Roasting until it’s tender makes for unreal savory flavor. Take one bite and you’ll be singing it’s praises too (promise!). It’s simply seasoned, with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. Serve it as a side dish, or toss it with pasta for a tasty dinner. Alex and I originally made it as a side dish, but it was so tasty, we made it into a plant based dinner recipe, too! So it also transforms into this Roasted Eggplant Pasta in a flash. This method works for diced eggplant or eggplant cut into large slices. Ready to roast?
- 2 medium eggplants (1 1/2 pounds total), stems trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch rounds (about 12 slices)
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 5 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
- 2 radishes, julienned
- 1 mini cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 loaf soft French bread
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves or small sprigs
Sprinkle eggplant slices generously with salt arrange on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Let stand 30 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels. In a bowl, stir together soy sauce, lime juice, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, and garlic.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant with oil. Roast, flipping halfway, until golden brown and very tender, about 30 minutes. Brush both sides of eggplant with soy mixture continue roasting until caramelized, 7 to 10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, toss together carrot, radishes, cucumber, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 4 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar.
Slice bread into quarters and halve lengthwise. Spread mayonnaise on cut sides and top with roasted eggplant, pickled vegetables, jalapeño, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
- 1 Reynolds® Oven Bag, large size
- Reynolds® Parchment Paper
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 (1 pound) eggplant, quartered and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 whole wheat Italian-style rolls, split
- 4 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- ½ cup sliced roasted red pepper
- 1 cup baby romaine lettuce or mixed greens
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Do not exceed 400 degrees F. Add flour to a Reynolds® Large Oven Bag. Shake. Place bag in a roasting pan at least 2 inches deep.
Drizzle eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place eggplant and red onion in bag. Close bag with tie (found inside package). Cut six 1/2 -inch slits in top of bag to allow steam to escape. Tuck ends of bag in pan.
Place pan in oven, allowing room for bag to expand during cooking without touching heating elements, wall, or racks. Bag should not hang over pan.
Roast about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Line a baking sheet with Reynolds® Parchment Paper. Place rolls on the prepared baking sheet with cut sides up. In a small bowl, mix feta and cream cheese together. Spread cheese mixture on cut sides of roll tops. Bake in the oven for the last 5 minutes of roasting.
Remove rolls and eggplant from oven. To serve, carefully cut open top of oven bag. Remember: Always support bag with pan. Place eggplant and onion on roll bottoms. Top with red peppers and romaine. Close sandwiches with the cheese-topped halves.
What you need to make Eggplant Parmigiana
1. Eggplant slices
First up, here’s all you need for the eggplant slices:
Eggplants / aubergines – We need 4 to 5 decent-sized eggplants for this recipe. 1.8kg (3.6lb) in total. This sounds like a lot, but we need them! Eggplant shrinks as it cooks, and we need enough to cover 3 layers of a full-size casserole dish. Also, the eggplant is sliced about 3 times thicker than it is for Greek Moussaka, so we need more and
Olive oil – For brushing before we bake them. Oil helps the slices cook and stay moist.
2. Tomato sauce (“sugo”)
The sauce for Eggplant Parmigiana is a classic Italian tomato sugo (“sauce” in Italian). It’s thicker than what you’d make for pasta, because if it’s too thin the water tends to bleed out from the sauce as the Eggplant Parmigiana cooks, resulting in a “split” sauce. Also, the Eggplant Parmigiana will be too sloppy and impossible to serve in (reasonably!) neat slices.
Tomato passata – Pureed, strained pure tomatoes, sometimes labelled “tomato puree” in the US (here’s a photo of Mutti tomato passata sold at Walmart). It’s readily available in Australian supermarkets nowadays, alongside pasta sauces. Passata is excellent for making thick, smooth sauces. More on tomato passata here
Crushed or finely diced tomato – We don’t want a perfectly smooth sugo, we also want some texture and chunkiness, hence some finely chopped tomato as well. The better the quality of your canned tomato, the better your sauce! Cheap canned tomato tends to be sour and not really taste of what it should, ie. tomato!
Oregano – Or basil will work a treat here
Garlic – Lots of it! Garlic and tomato go together like Adam and Eve and
Sugar – Just a touch, to bring out the natural sweetness of the tomato and balance the sourness. If you have the time to simmer the tomato sauce and simmer it for 1 1/2 hours you can skip the sugar.
3. Cheese and basil for layers
For the layers, we use parmesan and basil sandwiched between the eggplant layers. Finally we use mozzarella for sprinkling on top:
Parmesan – It’s all in a name: Parmesan is the essential flavouring and seasoning for Eggplant Parmigiana! We finely grate it and sprinkle on each layer so its cheesy, savoury taste permeates every bite
Mozzarella – I did say right upfront there’s plenty of molten cheesy goodness in Eggplant Parmigiana! Hey, we can afford the calories here, remember, this is a low-carb dish!
Fresh basil – Nothing goes better with tomatoes than basil! We scatter leaves on each and every layer as well as for garnishing the finished dish.
What’s Needed to Make This Balsamic Roasted Eggplant Sandwich?
This sandwich doesn’t have a ton of ingredients. However, the ingredients themselves have a ton of flavor on their own. So when you marry them together between two slices of bread, you have yourself a tasty party for your mouth. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Roasted Red Bell Peppers (homemade or store-bought)
- Balsamic Vinegar
- EVOO (you can use a store-bought pesto or try this homemade pesto)
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Bread slices – I used a whole grain bread in these images. Sourdough or italian taste amazing as well.
If you make these Balsamic Roasted Eggplant, Pesto & Mozzarella Sandwiches make sure to leave a comment or give it a rating! And if you’re into taking photos of your food (like me), be sure to give me a tag on Instagram!
Israeli Roast Eggplant, Hummus and Pickle Sandwiches
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small saucepan, cover the potato with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool, then peel the potato and slice it 1/4 inch thick. Season the potato slices with salt.
Meanwhile, arrange the eggplant slices on a rimmed baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and bake for about 10 minutes, until browned and tender.
In a large bowl, add the cucumber, tomato, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro and parsley. Toss with the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cut off 2 inches from the side of the warm pitas to make openings in the pockets. Gently open the pitas. Spread the hummus on the bottoms and 1 tablespoon of tahini over it. Layer the potato slices, eggplant, egg and cucumber-tomato salad in the pitas, along with some of the salad juices. Top with the pickle slices and serve.
Balsamic-Roasted Eggplant & Arugula Sandwiches
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This is the eggplant recipe that made me realize eggplant is not so fussy after all: it need not be salted and drained it need not be breaded and fried.
A simple brush of olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar followed by 20 minutes in a hot oven, and it’s good to go.
I wrote about this recipe nearly three years ago for Food52, but I made it again recently and was just as wowed by how simple and good it is.
The recipe comes from Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year. A friend had texted me a photo of the eggplant and arugula sandwiches, and I made the sandwiches immediately for dinner that night, then again the following evening, and then again and again. When the eggplant in our CSA begin arriving, this is the recipe I turn to most often.
This sandwich is as simple as it gets: there’s no fancy aioli, herby pesto, or textured relish to add “dimension” just salted butter. And just as well. The minimalist combination really allows the eggplant to shine.
I love what Ruth says: “Eggplant is usually the chameleon of the vegetable kingdom, so accommodating that if often disappears. Here it finally has a chance to star.”
Reviews ( 43 )
WOW. What a great sandwich. So many layers of wonderful flavors and super easy to make. Will be making this often this summer when eggplant is in.
This is really a great tasting sandwich! I used bottled roasted peppers because I didn't have fresh on hand - grilled them along with the eggplant. My ciabatta was pretty flat so I sliced it lengthwise and grilled it as well. The sweet and bitter eggplant along with the creamy tangy goat cheese and earthiness of the pesto combined with sweetness again from the roasted pepper and the spicy arugula made it wonderful - my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Next time I will pull some of the center of the bread out - the filling was slipping out with every bite. Make this tonight!!
Wonderful! I grilled the eggplant and skipped the arugula. Bottled roasted red peppers worked for some, but I also used some peppers I grilled along with the eggplant and they had the right flavor as well. Most people said that the skins were tough to bite through and to peel them before/after cooking, but they enhanced the appearance and didn't bother me.
This was really tasty. My only problems were that 1) I used regular eggplant and there was no way that 8 pieces of eggplant would fit on 2 sandwiches. Next time I'll use japanese eggplant. 2) The only ciabatta bread I could find was pretty low profile, making the sandwiches pretty tiny. I'll have to look for better bread next time. That said, the combination of creamy, rich goat cheese, spicy arugula and bland eggplant on toasty bread with tangy pesto was great!
Excellent sandwich. Rather than store-bought, subbed cilantro pesto (leftover from CL's halibut with citrus couscous) and lightly toasted the bread rather than broiling. The tomato-parmesan soup (used milk instead of half-and-half) made it a very good meal.
Made exact w/ Jewish rye bread and organic boxed tomato bisque soup. Yum! My husband (big meat eater) loved this meal. Great fall dinner.
loved this! my only change was that I salted the eggplant for 15 min before cooking and used Portuguese buns. fabulous dish!
These are amazing—both easy and tasty! I forgot to put the arugula on my sandwich last night, but they were so good that we're having them again tonight for dinner, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that enhances the sandwich. I highly recommend this one!
Really good, especially if you use great bread. I used herbed goat cheese and a little balsamic vinegar on the arugula and the eggplant.
I didnt have any bread but Rye. It added a delicious flavor! I used home made pesto but jarred roasted bell peppers. I think roasted red onions would be a good addition. I was able to put this on the table (actually it never made it to the table as we ate it off the cutting board) in 30 minutes.
Loved it. Don't leave out the pesto-it makes the sandwich. I didn't have any on hand, so made a walnut pesto with a recipe I have-it was yummy!
I feel bad giving this only 3 stars when everyone else seemed to like it, but we didn't like it that much. Too much trouble, too, for a sandwich. Not making it again.
These were pretty good. A few changes and I think they'd be a 4 or 5 star recipe. First, I used individual ciabatta rolls from our local bakery vs. bread slices. I grilled the eggplant. I tossed the arugula with tuscan olive oil. Next time I will add: grilled red onion slices and some red pepper flakes tossed onto the feta just before serving. But on the whole, these are good sandwiches and it made for a nice, easy weeknight meal. Served with sweet potato fries.
This was easy and delicious. It was incredibly filling and I will be making it again. Make sure to use good bread and plenty of pesto.
This was so easy and good. I used green pepper instead of red. I also added onions to it. This will be a keeper and will make again and again.
Most of the time people don't associate sandwiches with dinner but this was sophistacted and with the soup it was perfect satisfying meal. I made an artichoke too just for extra vegetables. For extra health benefits I used a whole wheat crusty bread which worked just as well. Normally, I do not like eggplant but this was SO GOOD!
Tastes like the name of the recipe. Easy and delicious.
SO GOOD. I didn't have any pesto handy (or enough basil to make it), so I used some plain hummus. Even with that substitute, it's delicious. Can't wait to try it w/ pesto. :)
I am absolutely in LOVE with this sandwich. I will make this over and over again. I only altered it a bit by making it open faced on some whole wheat bread. Everything about this recipe compliments each other.
This recipe is amazing! I made it once as directed and the second time was a result of having a few leftover ingredients. I made open faced sandwiches the second time and poured left over marinara sauce over the eggplant, sprinkled goat and parmesan cheese on top and left it in the oven to brown slightly. Loved both versions!
This sandwich and soup menu was outstanding. as well as quick and easy. The sandwiches were delicious and the soup excellent. I used boxed Pacific organic tomato soup w/the suggested added ingredients. My husband, who is not a big fan of tomato soup, said this was delicious, and he also enjoyed the sandwich even though he's not a big fan of vegetarian fare. This is definitely a repeat menu.
OH MY GAWD, this was really good. I did take two recommendations from previous commentors. I added balsamic vinegar to the arugula (actually my store had NO arugula so I used watercress. The peppery nature of watercress was excellent). I also used my GF sandwich machine to press the sandwiches. MMMMM. I made my own pesto. I watch my fat so when I make pesto, I substitute water for some of the oil. The way I do it is, make the pesto in the blender For this recipe I used the following and still had more pesto let over:â¢1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese 2 Tblspns extra virgin olive oil 1/6 cup pine nuts or walnuts (I mixed both) 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste BLEND, then add water (I add water and less oil, I added water a little at a time so as not to be overly watery) Let it sit the the fridge and it becomes thick. MMMMMM and less fat.
Overnight Rolls for Balsamic-Roasted Eggplant & Arugula Sandwiches
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Last week when a dear friend sent me the recipe for Ruth Reichl’s balsamic-roasted eggplant and arugula sandwiches, I immediately bought a baguette and set to work slicing, brushing, and roasting the various purple globes collecting on my counter. The result — an unfussy, completely delicious sandwich — sent me racing back to the store, but this time I skipped past the bakery. The local baguettes, I’m afraid, require gnawing with all one’s might.
If you have access to a great bakery, a fresh baguette, ciabatta roll, or focaccia would all work well here. If you don’t, consider making your own rolls. These are a simple variation of the peasant bread recipe — in essence the peasant bread is getting the Lahey treatment: the yeast has been cut way back and the rise extended to overnight (or about 12 hours).
Here’s a thought: if you take 5 minutes to mix the dough together this evening, you will be rewarded with the makings of a super-simple Friday night dinner, delicious vessels fit for flanking whatever your heart desires, but may I suggest balsamic-roasted eggplant and arugula? It’s so good.
This is what the dough looks like after a 12-hour rise:
Punch it down on a well-floured surface, and portion it out:
Shape the portions into rough balls and transfer to a baking sheet:
Bake for 20 minutes:
Once cool, the rolls can be halved and filled as you please.