Eggplant Sandwich with Black Olive Pesto

Total Time:
45 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium Italian eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 loaf focaccia
  • 1 cup Black Olive Pesto, recipe follows
  • 4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 roasted red peppers, peeled and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Asiago
  • Special equipment: food processor and pastry brush
  • Black Olive Pesto:
  • 1 cup black olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Coat each eggplant slice with the seasoned flour.

  • In a large skillet heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium-high heat and fry the eggplant slices until golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as needed. Remove the eggplant from the skillet and blot lightly on paper towels.

  • Cut the focaccia in 1/2 horizontally and spread the Black Olive Pesto on the inside of both halves. Arrange the eggplant slices on 1 half of the focaccia. Layer the tomatoes and roasted peppers on top and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with the other half of the focaccia, pressing firmly to join.

  • Cut the sandwich in 2 pieces. Brush each side of the focaccia with olive oil. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and grill both sides until golden and crispy. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey.

  • Cut each sandwich into 3 and serve warm.

Black Olive Pesto:
  • In a food processor puree the olives, Parmesan, olive oil, and garlic until smooth.

  • Can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks in an air tight container.

  • Yield: 1 cup

  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes


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