A Summertime Sandwich that is Perfect for Winter
It's mid-January and I am yearning for a sandwich that reminds me of days long-ago-- namely summer. Fresh vegetables and sunshine are in short supply right now in my neck of the woods so I've recreated the flavors with simple ingredients that are commonly found year round in any grocery store. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever ingredients you have and like. Olives, onions, artichokes, pepperoni? Experiment and let me know what combinations you like best.
Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Open Face Sandwich
-1 loaf french bread
-1 cup tomato sauce (recipe follows)
-1 Italian eggplant
-1 jar roasted red peppers
-8 slices Genoa salami
-1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
Trim and peel eggplant. Slice into rounds about 1/2 inch thick. On parchment or silicon baking mat lined baking sheet, lay eggplant rounds in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Let sit 1 hour. This will draw out excess water and help remove any bitterness from the eggplant.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place eggplant in oven and roast until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove eggplant from baking sheet.
Cut bread into 3/4 inch thick slices and layer on baking sheet. Spread about 1 tablespoon tomato sauce on one side of the bread. Top with eggplant, roasted red peppers, salami, mozzarella cheese, and oregano leaves.
Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil closest to the heat for 3 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble and brown.
Serve with a light green salad sprinkled with sherry vinegar and olive oil. Be sure to have extra tomato sauce on the side for dipping.
David's Favorite Tomato Sauce
-1 15 oz can whole tomatoes (If you can find San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy go with those. The flavor is worth the extra dollar per can.)
-2 cloves garlic
-4 T olive oil
-heavy pinch of salt
-pinch of pepper
Add all ingredients to a blender. Puree. This recipe is great for pasta, pizza, and anything else you might need tomato sauce for. It is very light and quick to make.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
David Gobeli is a contributing writer for FOLK and has been a cook in fine dining restaurants for the last 7 years in Madison, WI and Columbus, OH. His favorite meals are simple and easy to make, and bring family and friends together around the table. He is also the designer and proprietor for BasilicusJones, a company that specializes in re-purposed home accessories. You can contact him at DavidG.firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/BasilicusJones.