I love eggplant, but nine times out of 10, I end up making eggplant parm whenever I’m craving the diverse vegetable. The truth is, eggplant can be used in a ton of ways—and it’s especially delicious on salads or paninis. Today, I went with fried eggplant piled into a warm panini. I had originally planned to top the sandwich with arugula, mozzarella, and roasted red peppers, but I decided to create a roasted red pepper mayo for something a little different— and it ended up being the right decision. If you don’t feel like making the mayo, feel free to use regular roasted red peppers (or even sub them out for tomatoes).
Ingredients: Makes 4 sandwiches
1 loaf ciabatta bread
1/2 of an eggplant, peeled, sliced, and fried
2 cups fresh arugula
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup roasted red peppers
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of salt & pepper
The eggplant should be fried before making the panini. (Peel and slice eggplant, dip in egg wash, then seasoned breadcrumbs, then fry in olive oil 2-3 minutes per side.)
For roasted red pepper mayo, add all mayo ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Slice the bread down the middle, then spread mayo on either side (if you have some leftover, that’s fine; only use as much as you’d like). Next, add the eggplant, then arugula, then mozzarella. Butter both sides of focaccia and cook in a panini press until crust is golden brown. If you don’t have a panini press, feel free to cook in a grill pan. Slice and serve.