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Open-Face Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches with Olive-Walnut Relish

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Serves 4

  • by Kristine Kidd from Fine Cooking
    Issue 112

The succulent texture and nutty flavor of grilled eggplant is complemented here by burrata, a rich cream-filled mozzarella that’s a must-try.

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for brushing
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh mint, plus small leaves for garnish
  • 2 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. toasted walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 to 1-1/4 lb. globe eggplant (2 small or 1 slender large), peeled if you like, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 4-1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices crusty, artisanstyle white bread
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. mixed baby greens
  • 1 8-oz. package burrata (or fresh mozzarella), drained

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. In a small bowl, combine the oil, mint, shallot, and vinegar. In another small bowl, combine the olives and walnuts. Beat the vinaigrette with a fork to blend, and then mix 2 tsp. into the olive mixture.

Arrange the eggplant and bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the eggplant on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush the bread slices on one side with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill the eggplant, covered, until tender, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Grill the bread, covered, until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Arrange the grilled bread on a cutting board, oiled side up. Top each slice with some of the mixed greens. Arrange the eggplant rounds atop the greens. Beat the vinaigrette with a fork to blend, and then spoon about 1 tsp. over each round. Slice the burrata about 1/2 inch thick and arrange over the eggplant. Sprinkle lightly with salt and spoon about 1 tsp. of the olive relish over each burrata slice. Cut the sandwiches in half and transfer to plates. Garnish with small mint leaves and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Heirloom Tomato, Summer Peach, and Fresh Herb Gazpacho Salad on the side.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 380; Fat (g): 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 210; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 15; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 28; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 440; Cholesterol (mg): 45; Fiber (g): 6;

Photo: Scott Phillips

A wonderful weeknight dinner. Used bread we had in the house (unsliced whole grain) and fresh mozzarella. Was fantastic. I love eggplant anyway. Next time I will slice the bread a little thinner.

This was heaven for my tastebuds. It had excellent flavor and texture with both sweet and salty and soft and crunchy. Definitely worth the effort.

These were delicious. I used deli tapenade for the chopped olives, and fresh mozzarella. We will be making these as long as eggplant and the grill are in season.

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