Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grilled (Cheese) Eggplant Sandwich

It all started about a week ago when my dad was having one of his barbecue dinners. He loves to barbecue, I suppose it's relaxing to be by an open flame grillin' away. I never understood it, but I leave the grilling to him.

He made burgers, and of course some yummy portabello mushroom burgers for us! :) But when he makes burgers they have to be the fancy kind, topped with carmelized onions, grilled eggplant, mushrooms and fancy relishes. Hey no complaining here!

The carmelized onions and eggplant are my favourites. It's amazing how much a vegetable can change from a bitter displeasing taste to a sweet, rich flavourful food.

The eggplant surprised me the most, I noticed it wasn't getting lots of attention against the onions, mushrooms and of course the ketchup and mustard. So I took a few for my burger, took a bite...and...cheese!

"Hey, grilled eggplant sorta tastes like swiss cheese." I guess that was enough for the rest of the fam to try some eggplant! Seriuosly though it tastes so much like swiss cheese, so much that Jenn and I just HAD to make grilled cheese with it!

1/2 an eggplant (for two sandwiches)
Sea salt
Sundried Tomatoes (or other veggies)
4 slices bread (we used a sprouted grain gluten-free bread)

Slice eggplant in half vertically. Then each half in half again. Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices. Put  slices on a few layers of paper towel in a hollow pan or in the sink. Sprinkle on a hefty amount of salt (don't wory, you'll be rinsing it off later). Make sure both sides are salted evenly. Allow to "sweat" for at least 2 hours, the longer you wait, the better. Set oven to Broil, or if you don't have a broiler, set to about 450F.

Rinse of eggplant thoroughly, it may be a good idea to taste the raw eggplant, just to make sure you don't over salt it when you broil it. Dry off rinsed slices, arrange on a parchment/aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Brush each side with oil. Salt as needed (side facing up). Broil until roasted and beginning to carmelize. You can cut off the skins if you like for a more "cheese" like look.

Heat a frying pan with 1/2 tbsp oil. Assemble sandwich, place in frying pan and cook while pressing down with spatula. Flip once golden brown and continue cooking until ready.

Makes 2 scrumptious sandwiches!

Portrait of an eggplant

I know the eggplant part seems like a lot of work. But if you do it the day before and just store it in the fridge you could have grilled cheeses for the next few days!

We submitted this sandy to Ricki's Wellness Weekends this week, if you have your own wellness inspired recipe, hop on over there and submit it!!


  1. wow- this looks really delicious! i have a few baby eggplants and wasn't sure what to do with them. this looks like a great idea!

  2. Best sandwich idea I've seen in ages!

  3. i love eggplant! does the salt bath make the eggplant more tender?

  4. Eggplants have always intimidated me, I definitely want to try this though!

  5. That looks delicious! I have so much eggplant from my garden, I've gotta try this!

  6. Great idea- what is the brand of the bread you used? Just curious...

  7. @ stephanie: We used silver hills gluten-free bread. Feel free to use any brand though!

  8. YUM!! This was my first experience cooking with eggplant. I used some roasted garlic lemon sauce I had in the fridge instead of the hummus. I'm so excited to finally have grilled "cheese" sandwiches again! Thanks!

  9. @Morgan: mmm! glad you are no longer an eggplant virgin! roaste garlic lemon sauce sounds like heaven on a grilled cheese! :)