Roasted Eggplant Sammies with Caramelized Balsamic Onion

This combination is killer! Smooth roasted eggplant and creamy goat cheese with tangy balsamic onions, a touch of spicy arugula and toasted pine nuts. O yeah... did I mention this is all on top of this delicious garlic bread. It can be served warm out of the oven or cold.

This recipe was inspired by a sandwich I repeatedly get at Kleine Anne (Little Anna :), one of my favorite lunch spots in Frankfurt that specializes in sandwiches. The two ladies who brought this place to life could not have done a better job. Every single sandwich there is life-changingly delicious. They do one that consists of a creamy eggplant-nut spread, more cheese and arugula. This take on their creation not only turned out even better than I expected, it is a fair bit healthier than the original since there is only a touch of cheese, more veggies and since it is open-faced, less bread!

The recipe is so simple and delicious! And you can skip a few of the steps if it is just too much for you. Letting the eggplant sweat before you roast it and adding toasted nuts adds a little something extra, but the dish won't fall apart if you can't be bothered. I can also see this dish coming alive with a bit mint in the summer! Hope you enjoy.

Roasted Eggplant Sammies with Caramelized Balsamic Onions

2 medium eggplants (or 3 small), sliced in 1/2-inch thich rounds

Salt & Pepper
Olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced in half moons
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 baguette, sliced in half (or a loaf of sliced French bread)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
A few handfuls arugula
1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)

1. Heavily salt eggplant slices. Place in colander in the sink and let them sweat out their bitterness for 15 mins.* (longer if you have time, but you can also skip this step if it's too much of a fuss).
2. While eggplant is sitting, preheat oven to 220C/425F and bring a non-stick pan to medium heat. Add nuts and cooking for about 5 mins or until they begin to brown, stirring very frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat, coarsely chop and set aside.*
3. In the non-stick pan on medium heat, saute onion in 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter on med-low until soft and begin to brown then add balsamic vinegar. Turn pan to low and allow to reduce until onions are coated in thick sauce. Set aside.
4. Rinse off eggplant with water. Pat dry. Toss in 2 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread out on baking sheet and roast in oven for 20 minutes or until soft, turning slices over after 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
5. While eggplant is roasting, pour 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil into small bowl and add crushed garlic. Once eggplant is done, reduce oven to 190C/375F. Place bread slices on pan and bake for 3 minutes. Remove and brush garlic olive oil on one side and bake for additional 2-3 minutes until bread is lightly toasted.
6. To prepare sandwiches, add a little arugula then onions and slices of eggplant. Crumble on some goat cheese and pop back into oven until goat cheese melts. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve warm with a salad.

No comments:

Post a Comment