You probably don’t need a recipe to make a sandwich but I couldn’t help but share this big juicy stack of late-summer grilled veggies. I rarely make sandwiches these days, (mostly because I live in the town of tacos)… but these simply grilled eggplant slices were just begging to be put between bread and slathered with arugula-walnut pesto. I piled on some roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella. Sub avocado for the cheese if you’re vegan. Then get out the napkins because things are gonna get messy!
You can assemble your sandwich like I did, or put the ingredients on a platter so everyone can make whatever combo they like. There are no wrong answers here…
For further instruction, I made this animated gif for you. And now I’m starving… is it lunchtime yet?
grilled eggplant & pesto sandwiches
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced into ¼ inch slices
- drizzle of olive oil, for grilling the eggplant
- 4 ciabatta rolls, toasted if you like
- a few roasted peppers (optional)
- ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced (skip if vegan)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ⅓ cup toasted walnuts
- 1 small clove of garlic
- big handful of arugula (plus reserve a few sprigs for the sandwiches)
- big handful of basil (also reserve a few)
- juice of ½ a small lemon
- sea salt & freshly ground pepper
- ¼ - ⅓ cup olive oil
- Slice your eggplant and arrange the slices in one layer on a plate. Sprinkle generously with salt and let it sit while you prep everything else. In a few minutes, it'll become watery, dab off the water with a clean towel before you grill the eggplant.
- Make your pesto by pulsing together the walnuts and garlic. Then add arugula, basil, lemon, salt & pepper. Pulse again, then add the olive oil and pulse one last time. I made my pesto chunky, add more olive oil if you prefer a smoother pesto. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan. Once it's hot, drizzle your eggplant with olive oil and place on a hot grill. Let each side cook for 2-3 minutes or until nice grill marks form.
- Assemble sandwiches with pesto, arugula, mozzarella and/or avocado, grilled eggplant, roasted peppers, and a sprig of basil.