Scrumptious Market Sandwich

olive oil for sautéing (about 2 tablespoons; divided)
4 cloves garlic, chopped (divided)
1 eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise (about 1 pound)
2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced (optional)
1 loaf french bread
6 slices muenster cheese
10 leaves fresh basil, stemmed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet. Add 2 tablespoons chopped garlic and the eggplant; sauté eggplant on both sides until translucent. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to same skillet; add remaining garlic, the peppers and onion and sauté until vegetables are just beginning to turn limp.

Slice bread in half lengthwise. Hollow out about half of the bread from the bottom half. Layer 2 slices of the cheese, followed by half of the eggplant, peppers, onions and basil. Sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar. Add 2 more slices of cheese, followed by the remaining eggplant and peppers.

Preheat the broiler. Place the bottom half of the loaf on a cooking sheet and lay the top crust, top side down, next to it. Crumble the remaining 2 slices cheese and scatter on the top crust. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until nicely browned.

Place top half of loaf on bottom. Cut into 1-inch slices and serve warm.

Serves 8.

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