Roasted Eggplant and Caprese Sandwiches

J and I had such a fun wine and cheese party recently, and since this was during my vegetarian Lent phase, I couldn’t partake in any of the yummy charcuterie (and bacon jam – will post his recipe for that soon!), I of course had to craft something just as enticing without meat.

But first, just take a look at this spread:

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That would be salami, prosciutto (my personal favorite), capiccola, grapes, blackberries, olives, mixed nuts, fresh mozzarella, brie, and pecorino romano. MMMM.

We also created homemade olive tapenade, blackberry jam, roasted garlic spread, and the aforementioned bacon jam pictured below (recipes coming soon, I promise!)

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Then the caprese came through in the clutch…

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Topped off and sliced, ready to go!

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I swear this sandwich is so good that you won’t miss the meat. The kickers? Eggplant and roasted garlic spread. Make it. Make it today!! Seriously.

Roasted Eggplant & Caprese Sandwich

Ingredients: (amounts depend on how many you’re feeding!)

crusty French bread

baby arugula

fresh mozzarella

1 eggplant

tomatoes on the vine

fresh basil

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

fresh cracked black pepper

roasted garlic spread (see recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut stem off of eggplant and slice width-wise (into circles). Place circles onto lightly oiled cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. To assemble the sandwich, cut the loaf of french bread in half lengthwise. Generously slather the garlic spread on the inside of the bottom of the bottom half. Add a layer of baby arugula on top of the spread. Add a layer of thinly sliced rounds of fresh mozzarella. Add a layer of thinly sliced tomato rounds. Add a layer of roasted eggplant rounds. Top with several basil leaves.
  3. Drizzle the sandwich with olive oil, and season lightly with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Top with the other half of the loaf, and enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Spread

Ingredients:

8 whole cloves of garlic

1/2 cup grated parmesan

olive oil (preferably truffle olive oil)

kosher salt (or preferably truffle salt)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 385 degrees. Chop the top roots off of the garlic cloves, place them on a large piece of foil, drizzle them with olive oil, and roast them until soft (about an hour).

  1. Remove the garlic cloves from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Squeeze the soft garlic from each clove with your hands into a small bowl, taking care not to get any of the skins in the bowl.
  3. Drizzle the soft garlic with olive oil, add the parmesan, and mash the mixture together until smooth, adding more olive oil as needed. The texture should resemble a very smooth hummus.
  4. Season to taste with salt.

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