Eggplant Marinara Sandwiches

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
This sandwich highlights what’s delicious and fresh about eggplant without the heaviness of frying it in a breadcrumb coating. Instead the eggplant is grilled, and topped with a quick tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, sandwiched on a toasted ciabatta roll and served with a bright arugula salad.



  1. Season both sides of the eggplant slices with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush lightly with olive oil. Brush the eggplant slices on one side with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Grill, oil-side down first, until well marked and tender, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove to a baking sheet.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, a pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes. Reduce to a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until the sauce is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes; season with salt.
  3. Toss the arugula in a large bowl with the lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the eggplant among the roll bottoms and top with the tomato sauce and sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and grated pecorino. Add the mint and roll tops. Serve with the arugula salad; sprinkle with more grated pecorino.