Eggplant

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small eggplants or 1 medium to large eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 baguettes (each about 2 feet long)
1/2 cup Pesto
8 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, sliced (or other cheese of your choice)
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
8 large basil leaves, optional

Directions
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle the oil over the eggplant, zucchini, and onion slices, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the eggplant, zucchini, and onions until they are tender and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Cool completely.

Cut each baguette into 6 pieces. Working with one baguette piece at a time, slice in half and spread both sides with the pesto. Working with the bottom slice of the baguette, stack 2 slices of eggplant, 2 slices zucchini, 1 slice onion, 1 slice tomato, 1 slice mozzarella, and 1 slice of roasted pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place top half of baguette on top and continue with remaining baguette. (The sandwiches can be made 4 hours ahead. Wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Grilled Eggplant
Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 pinch each thyme, basil, dill, and oregano
salt and freshly grated black pepper

Preparation:
Heat grill. When grill is hot, slice eggplant about 1/2-inch thick. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Dip both sides of the eggplant slices in the oil and vinegar mixture.

Place eggplant on the hot preheated grill. Grill about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.

Roasted Eggplant Spread
2 medium eggplants, peeled
1 red bell pepper, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, cayenne and salt and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the lemon juice and tahini, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and add the chopped parsley. Garnish with extra parsley.

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