- 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
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