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Monday, November 26, 2012

Grilled Eggplant, Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach, and Ricotta Sandwich

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We dealt with a broken fridge a few weeks ago. It was shortly after Hurricane Sandy, when we’d heard reports of people without power for days. It put my complaints about a broken fridge into perspective, and I’m certainly not making a comparison, but I definitely have an increased understanding of how difficult it can be to be without power!
We lived out of a cooler for the first half of that week, buying only the minimum at the grocery store and taking advantage of the working fridges at work. I planned dinner recipes that didn’t have too many refrigerated ingredients. These sandwiches worked—only the ricotta had to be kept cold. I then wrapped the leftover sandwiches in foil and stuck them in the cooler, which kept them chilled enough until dinner the following night.
Working fridge or not, these are an easy vegetarian dinner. I recommend salting your eggplant before you grill it (I used a Panini press) to draw out the bitter flavor, but there are only a few quick steps before you have a cafĂ©-worthy sandwich ready to eat! If you don’t have or don’t like ricotta, goat cheese (especially herbed goat cheese) would be a fantastic substitution!

Two Years Ago: Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Persimmon and Turkey

Grilled Eggplant, Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach, and Ricotta Sandwich
from Women's Day Magazine

-1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb), sliced into quarter-inch thick rounds
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/4 cup pesto (store-bought or make your own!)
-4 ciabatta or other rolls, sliced in half
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-4 medium roasted red peppers, halved (I bought a jar and used most of the jar)
-1 cup spinach
-kosher salt & pepper

1. Heat grill to medium. Brush both sides of the eggplant with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until eggplant is slightly charred and tender, 2-3 minutes per side.
2. Spread pesto on the rolls and add ricotta, eggplant, peppers, and spinach. Top with other half of roll. Serve immediately or wrap tightly in foil and refrigerate until ready to serve.