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Mozzarella and Eggplant Sandwich Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Mozzarella and Eggplant Sandwich Recipe

In Life:

Hello friends, I hope you’re doing well today. I am doing quite well myself. I’m staying pretty busy with work and life and all that jazz. But I am feeling good and feeling like I’m on top of things. And for that, I am really grateful. It seems like the number of projects on my plate has exploded quite a bit (again, in a good way). For a while all I really worked on was this blog. Then slowly I started adding other things in. Now I’m at full capacity and figuring out what’s next for me.

This week Jeremy and I really started working on our upcoming book on Southeast Louisiana food culture. We have to turn the manuscript in in early July of 2014 so we’ve got plenty of time. But I know that time is just going to rush by us. Thankfully, our publisher has sent monthly check in deadlines so we’ll be able to go over and gauge our progress with our editor quite often. This is my first endeavor into writing a book, and it’s all pretty exciting at this point. Oh, and for those of you who are interested in a copy, I will eventually be putting up a pre-sale page here on Culicurious so I can capture your emails and let you know when it’s time to pre-order. No pressure, of course. I’ve just had folks ask about it already so wanted to give an update.

Interestingly, I also *might* be doing some side work for my former advertising employer. One of my co-workers is out on maternity leave (yay, new baby!!), and I hope to be able to offer some services to fill in. That would work out great for me (hello, holiday spending cash) because I’d get some dough and keep my specialized skills in online advertising sharp as a tack. Or try to, at least. Either way, it would be a short-term, very part time gig for me. I’m excited about it and hope it comes through. We’ll see how it goes (fingers crossed).

And the final piece of my puzzle is all my side work. I have a couple of other sites I contribute to that I have monthly posts to write. And I am also in the process of very slowly starting two new websites as well. One is going to be a travel site in collaboration with Jeremy, and the other is my top secret labor of love. I’ve yet to really spill the beans on this one because I think it’s a fantastic, unexploited idea that is ripe for exploring. I am hoping to really dive into that early next year. As of now I’ve been collecting data and doing very slow, preliminary research. Slow and steady wins it, right?

So that’s what’s up in my life. What about you? How’s your work coming along? Busy in a good way or what? Let me know in the comments below. I’m always interested in what you’ve got going on. 🙂

In Cooking:

Today we’re going to tackle something delicious – a mozzarella and eggplant sandwich recipe with roasted red pepper relish. Oh yum! Did you know that sandwiches are one of my favorite food groups? Ok, well I know it’s not *technically* a food group, but it’s definitely a class of food all it’s own. One of my favorite things about sandwiches is the sheer variety that is available. You can pretty much turn anything into a delicious sandwich. I like those odds and that flexibility.

Mozzarella and Eggplant Sandwich Recipe

You may remember my roasted red pepper relish from earlier this fall. I published a recipe for it on its own and then used it in a Kamut recipe that I created for Bob’s Red Mill. One day when I was testing that relish recipe, I decided to try it as a sandwich spread. It worked and added a delicious zing to my eggplant and mozzarella.

Overall this sandwich is very easy and simple. But it tastes like a million bucks. That’s a win, right? Besides the bread, you only need the eggplant, mozzarella cheese and the roasted red pepper relish. Between those three filling items, you’ve got yourself a pretty amazing sandwich. Come to think of it, this would also make an amazing pizza topping, too. I’ll have to try that. And please let me know if you try that, too!

Key Ingredients for Mozzarella and Eggplant Sandwich Recipe

You may have noticed here on Culicurious that I love broiling eggplant. You can see examples of that here, here and here. To me, it’s a quick, easy and delicious way to prepare eggplant. Also, when broiled, eggplant isn’t as mushy as when you cook it other ways – especially if you keep the skins on, which I highly recommend. The skins taste good and contain fiber and nutrients. I think it’s interesting how much mass the eggplant loses when broiled, though. See below – those eggplant on the left and right were both cut equally thick. With that loss of water comes a delicious concentration flavor, which I can always get behind!

Raw vs. Broiled Eggplant

There really aren’t too many more praises I can sing to this delectable sandwich. It’s a delicious vegetarian meal that is also very satisfying. When I eat eggplant I hardly even miss the meat. This sandwich is no exception. I’m not a vegetarian but I really like eating non-meat dishes. Cooking them helps me to stretch my capabilities and creativity, and I’m always up for a good challenge like that!

Mozzarella and Eggplant Sandwich Recipe

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Mozzarella and Eggplant Sandwich Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Relish

This mozzarella and eggplant sandwich recipe is finished with a delicious roasted red pepper relish. This sandwich is also vegetarian and very satisfying.

Ingredients:

Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggplant (about 2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4" thick slices (aim for 24 total slices)
  • 1/2 cup lightly flavored oil (like grape seed or olive)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Finishing the Sandwich:

  • 4 Ciabatta or Kaiser rolls
  • 1 recipe roasted red pepper relish
  • 1 recipe broiled eggplant
  • 1 pound whole milk mozzarella, cut into 1/4" thick slices (aim for 16 total slices)

Method:

Cooking the Eggplant:

  1. Pre-heat your oven's broiler. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Layout slices of eggplant and brush oil on each. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Broil for 6 minutes, flip the eggplant then finish for another 6 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove from the oven and set to cool.
  4. Repeat process with remaining eggplant, oil, salt and pepper. You should be able to cook all the eggplant between two batches. The eggplant can be tightly packed onto the sheet pan. As long as the pieces don't overlap, it is fine.
  5. Set the broiled eggplant aside until you’re ready to build the sandwiches.

Finishing the Sandwich:

  1. Lay out four rolls with the tops and bottoms separated. Spread one tablespoon of roasted red pepper relish on each top and bottom piece of the rolls.
  2. Add six slices of eggplant and 4 slices of mozzarella to the bottom piece of each roll. If you prefer, you can alternate the eggplant and mozzarella.
  3. Top with remaining roll half and serve immediately.
  4. Sandwich ingredients can be stored in the fridge for up to a week in separate air tight containers.

Prep:35 min

Total:35 min

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  • Just saved this recipe! It looks amazing, I can’t wait to make it. -Doree

    • Thanks, Doree! This is one of my favorite sandwiches of all time! 🙂