Fresh Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Panini
- 12 slices of eggplant, about 1/4-inch thick
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 slices Italian bread, 1/4-inch thick
- Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
- 2 roasted medium red peppers, peeled, seeded and julienne
Season both sides of the eggplant with salt and pepper. Let sit for 2 minutes. In a large saute pan, over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup of the oil. Pan-fry the slices of eggplant in batches until golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Using a paper towel, wipe out the saute pan and repeat the above process with the remaining oil and eggplant.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush both sides of the bread with the extra virgin olive oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet. Place 3 slices of the eggplant over each slice of bread. Lay a couple slices of cheese over the eggplant. Top the cheese with some of the peppers. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese melts, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse , 1999