Delicious hot or cold, this vegetarian Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich won’t leave you hungry.
Keeping the picnic theme going, today I am featuring one of my favorites: Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich. You are probably thinking, “Eggplant Parmesan? What’s the big deal?” Well, this sandwich is a lot healthier than the breaded-fried version, and it’s filled with a lot of great condiments that definitely kick it up a notch (or two or three!).
Very rarely do I pan fry my eggplant. Eggplant is like a sponge and it soaks up a ton of oil. For most recipes, I bake my eggplant slices at around 385ºF for 20-30 minutes. And you only need a few tablespoons of olive oil that you brush on both sides of the eggplant.
Now comes the fun part, assembling the sandwich!
I like to use the French baguette. After cutting it in half length-wise, you start on the bottom half and work your way up. So, I generously spread marinara sauce on the bottom baguette slice, then layer the eggplant slices over the sauce. You can use your homemade marinara or store bought.
Add the toppings, in this order, over the eggplant: thinly sliced artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper slices (you can find jarred), then both parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Place the sandwich on a baking sheet, with the top baguette on the pan next to the rest of the sandwich, and place under the broiler until the cheese melts. Remove the sandwich from the oven and add more yummies: sliced pepperoncinis, basil and drizzle some balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.
Finally, put on the top slice of your baguette and you are in heaven! This is a very satisfying sandwich and you won’t miss the meat! You could even replace the eggplant with grilled portobello mushrooms.
- 5 Italian eggplant
- 2 TBS salt
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 baguette, at least 20 inches in length
- 1 cup marinara sauce, 1/2 cup per baguette
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, pickled, drained & cut into thin slices
- 1 cup jar of roasted red pepper strips, drained & cut in slices
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup peperoncinis, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup basil, fresh, julienned
- 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, red
- Peel and slice eggplants lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slabs.
Sprinkle with salt. Let eggplants sit for 20 minutes to sweat.
- Preheat oven to 385ºF.
- Wipe excess water off eggplant using paper towels.
- Generously brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil.
Place eggplant onto broiler pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until top of eggplant slices start to brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Cut baguettes in half lengthwise.
- Place bottom halves of baguettes onto a clean baking sheet.
- Next, spoon marinara sauce (approx 1/2 cup) onto each bottom baguette half
- Place eggplant slices over sauce, overlapping eggplant if needed.
- Layer artichoke hearts and red pepper slices over the eggplant.
- Top with Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
- Place empty top halves of baguettes on baking sheet next to sandwich bottoms. Place in the oven and bake until cheese melts and lightly browns.
- Top cheese with peperoncinis and basil, fresh.
- Drizzle cut side of top halves of bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Place top halves of baguette over bottom halves. Cut each sandwich in half and serve.
Serving Suggestions: You can try it with roasted portobello mushrooms, too.