Open-Face Grilled-Eggplant Sandwich

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 19-ounce can white kidney (cannellini) beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1-pound eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 3/4-inch-thick slices sourdough or peasant bread
1 cup arugula leaves or green-leaf lettuce
1/2 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced crosswise and separated into rings

1. In small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until garlic browns lightly. Transfer garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil to food processor fitted with chopping blade; add beans, lemon juice, rosemary, salt, and pepper; process until smooth. Set bean mixture aside.

2. Heat indoor grill or nonstick grill pan over medium heat. Place eggplant in medium-size bowl. Brush remaining 2 tablespoons garlic-flavored oil over both sides of each eggplant slice, coating evenly. Grease grill top or pan with vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray. Grill eggplant slices 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until softened. Return eggplant to bowl after grilling. Grill bread slices just until lightly toasted — about 10 to 15 seconds on each side. Place one bread slice on each of 4 individual plates.

3. Reserve 1/4 cup bean mixture. Divide and evenly spread remaining bean mixture among bread slices. Place alternating layers of arugula and eggplant slices on each sandwich. Top each with 1 tablespoon of remaining bean mixture and some onion rings before serving.

Serves: 4

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