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'Wich of the Week: Eggplant Grilled Cheese

'Wich of the Week: Eggplant Grilled Cheese

When dealing with Thanksgiving leftovers, sandwiches are an obvious choice — and believe me, I consumed my fair share of turkey and stuffing on wheat bread last week. But in a more unexpected repurposing, I also used the breadcrumb mixture leftover from my New Orleans-style baked oyster dish to make this twist on a grilled cheese.

In this case, the "bread" is actually sliced eggplant coated with breadcrumbs, and the cheese is provolone (though mozzarella would also be good with a marinara dipping sauce on the side). I can't say this recipe is any healthier than a typical grilled cheese, since the bread crumb mixture is made with butter, but it is a creative take on a classic for all you grilled cheese fans.

What's cool is that the golden-browned breadcrumbs take on both the look and flavor of grilled, buttered bread, and the skins of the eggplant slices resemble bread crust. The breadcrumb mixture is easy to make, even for a weeknight supper. To get the recipe and step-by-step photos,

.

Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients

2 medium to large eggplants
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing eggplant
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions (green parts only)
2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 egg
4 slices of provolone cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. After removing the stems from the ends, slice each eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices, discarding the round-edged slices, for a total of eight uniform slices.
  3. Brush eggplant lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 minutes, flipping the eggplant once during baking.
  4. Meanwhile, make breadcrumb mixture. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over low heat. Add oil, garlic, parsley, and green onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in 2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cayenne, tarragon, and oregano. Stir until well combined and remove from heat.
  5. In a small, shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg.
  6. Transfer the breadcrumb mixture onto a large plate, and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.
  7. To prepare each eggplant slice, dip lightly into the egg, then coat generously with breadcrumbs, pressing to stick the bread to the eggplant.
  8. Two slices at a time, place the eggplant in the skillet over medium-low heat and cook for 2 minutes per side, until breadcrumb coating is golden brown. Top one slice of eggplant with provolone cheese and place the other slice of eggplant on top of the cheese to make a "sandwich." Cook for an additional minute per side.
  9. Continue with the remaining eggplant slices. If desired, transfer each completed sandwich to the baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

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Join The Conversation
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 6 years
This looks soooo yummy :) I may need to make this later in the week.
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 6 years
This looks soooo yummy :) I may need to make this later in the week.
vintagesugar vintagesugar 7 years
This crumb mixture is good for so many things. When I make it, I make a huge amount and keep it in the freezer. I have used it on salmon, chicken, feta, cream cheese. For the cheeses, I bake the cheese with the crumb mixture on top. These sandwiches look amazing. Can't wait to give them a test drive.
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
There are no words to express my feelings...need to hire a lyrical poet. I think I'm going to cry.
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
There are no words to express my feelings...need to hire a lyrical poet.I think I'm going to cry.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
it looks good but not quite "firm" enough for me to pick up and eat you know? I bake my eggplant. Less oil
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
it looks good but not quite "firm" enough for me to pick up and eat you know? I bake my eggplant. Less oil
mtiger mtiger 7 years
I'll have to try this! I love eggplant!
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
Omg Amber :D Duh!! Why haven't I thought of that. And lol I guess I'm part of the 1% populace that doesn't hate Rachael Ray.. I second the eggplant lasagna idea. We make it all the time--it is diviine.
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
Omg Amber :D Duh!! Why haven't I thought of that. And lol I guess I'm part of the 1% populace that doesn't hate Rachael Ray..I second the eggplant lasagna idea. We make it all the time--it is diviine.
Fitness Fitness 7 years
I love the idea of a bread-less sandwich.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
Ladies or gents, if you bake or grill your eggplant you can do it with little to no oil, but EVOO (I know that drives a lot of you crazy) is very good for you, so brush (or spray) it on and eat it up.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 7 years
Eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge, so I agree this is probably no more healthy then regular grilled cheese, but I bet it tastes way better!!!
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
Great idea lady_jade. :drool:
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
Great idea lady_jade. :drool:
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
WOW! I'm always asking foodie sites to include more eggplant recipes, I love the stuff and I grow it. I agree, party, spicy marinara rocks!
lady_jade lady_jade 7 years
oh haaay i love this! eggplant makes a good "noodle" in lasagna too.
partysugar partysugar 7 years
These look so good. I would totally serve this with a spicy marinara!
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
Yum! I wish eggplants didn't soak up so much oil but they're soo good..
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
this looks SOOOOO GOOD. i love grilled cheese and i'm starting to use eggplant more and more in my dishes, so this is a great mix! thanks for making a veggie option this week!
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