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Monday, October 24, 2011

roast eggplant sandwiches

I think I mentioned before that I am not the world's biggest eggplant fan. I don't have anything against the suckers, but they aren't something I ever find myself craving. But see, that's the thing with getting a CSA box. You don't get to just eat the stuff you are craving, or the stuff that's your favorite. You eat the stuff that gets harvested each week, whether you wanted it or not. The amazing thing about Abundant Harvest Organics is that, due to it being a cooperative of sorts between many farms, there is much more variety than any one single farm could provide on its own. As a matter of fact, years ago we tried a CSA share from a small farm located practically in our neighborhood. They were swell folks, but there was only so much kale that my newlywed self and my young groom could eat in a week. On the other hand, Abundant Harvest makes sure that my box has a whole bunch of variety not just within each box, but also between weeks.

Part of what I love about this whole veggie box experience is the creativity and the new experiences it provides for myself and my family. It has certainly made us all try lots of new things we hadn't before... and likely never would have! And even things that aren't necessarily new are sure making their way into our diets far more that they used to.

For example, the eggplant. Whether I was looking for it or not, there it was.

I though about a few different ways I could prepare it, and as I considered and tossed out such ideas as eggplant parmesan and eggplant lasagna, I finally settled on eggplant sandwiches.

I followed the recipe that I found on, and LOVED it! My husband said, "If we were in a restaurant right now, I would already be planning to return... and place the same order." I take that as a compliment in highest form.

Anyway, the sandwich is very simple... it's just eggplant and some other very delicious ingredients stacked up. Somehow they turn out to be an amazing combination that tastes amazing and is very simple to prepare. Other than mixing up the garlic mayonnaise (which I recommend doing in advance to let the flavors meld) and quickly roasting the eggplant, all you need to do is build the sandwich. I served these with some slaw I made out of bok choy and carrots... and I will give you that recipe tomorrow.

For now, enjoy this one!

Eggplant sandwiches
enough for 2 tall sandwiches

1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick
some olive oil (enough to brush the eggplant slices)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic
2 (6-inch) sandwich rolls
1 medium tomato, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

If you can, prepare the mayonnaise ahead of time and refrigerate. Simply mince the garlic cloves and stir into the mayonnaise. If it is going to sit for any length of time, be sure to refrigerate.

Turn on the broiler element in your oven.

Slice the eggplant and lay out on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with oil. Place the baking sheet in the oven, about 6 inches from the broiling element. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until nicely toasted.

Split the rolls in half and toast. (I do mine by simply placing them, cut side up, directly on the oven rack and leaving for about 3-4 minutes to toast under the broiler). You can use your toaster or toaster oven if you prefer. It's less risky, since they go from toasted to black pretty quickly.

Spread the mayonnaise on the roll. Stack up the roasted eggplant, tomato slices, feta, and basil leaves.