Eggplant Sandwiches With Fontina and Caramelized Onions


5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I had found some 12-year-old Moderna on sale, it was like syrup
1 garlic glove, pressed
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 large red onions, sliced thin
2 large eggplants, about 2.5 pounds, sliced lengthwise into 1/3-inch slices
8 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into 12 slices
12 large lettuce leaves
24 slices of your favorite bread, I used Italian


Lay out eggplant slices on baking sheets and sprinkle with salt. Let sit 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of the balsamic with shallots, and garlic. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and pepper and sprinkle with salt. Saute until they are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until soft, another 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic and continue to saute until very soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler. Pat eggplant dry, you'll need several paper towels for this. Lightly spray with olive oil and broil about 3 minutes on each side.
Layer bread, cheese, eggplant, onion and peppers, sauce and lettuce. Top with another slice of bread. Consider toasting the bread.




I came across the recipe while reading the December issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I knew I could lighten it and make it my contribution to our office holiday celebration. First, I used significantly less oil than the original and made the serving size smaller. I also used a smaller bread portion. The vinaigrette is wonderful and is not, by any means, light. However, this is one of those situations where less is more. There is so much flavor that you need less than a teaspoon per sandwich.




Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 10:44am


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