Roasted Eggplant and Bell Pepper Sandwich with Herbed Goat Cheese

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1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
4 large Japanese eggplants (about 12 ounces)*
kosher salt
2 large red bell peppers
5 ounces fresh goat cheese at room temperature
3 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces of bread, such as focaccia or baguette, halved
baby arugula for dressing (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Trim the stem end off of the eggplants and slice each eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and place on the baking sheet. Salt liberally.

2. Slice the bell peppers in half through the stem end. Trim and devein, removing the seeds. Place the bell peppers cut-side down on the baking sheet. Roast until the eggplant is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Use a spatula to remove the eggplant to a plate. Return the peppers to the oven and cook until tender, about 15 minutes more.

3. Place the bell peppers on another plate. Cover with a plastic bag and let steam until cool. Remove the skin and slice on the diagonal into thick slices.

4. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, yogurt, chives and oregano. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the bottom half of each piece of bread with a good amount of the herbed goat cheese. Top with a layer of eggplant and bell pepper, plus the arugula, if using, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the remaining bread with the rest of the goat cheese and place on top.

*You can substitute globe eggplants, sliced into rounds, for the Japanese eggplant.

Serves 4



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