Garden, Plant, Cook!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Grilled Cheese And Eggplant With Basil

Dear Folks,

One day several years ago I had a great urge for a grilled cheese sandwich. We had eggplant, we had sweet peppers, we had basil -- and a grill! And a new sandwich was born!

Grilled cheese sandwiches are the kind of homey, comfort food that just plain makes you feel good. The addition of grilled eggplant (good for you, leave the skin on) and/or sweet peppers and herbs (in alternate layers with the cheese) makes this a satisfying meal by itself. Doing the low-carb thing? Grill Portobello mushrooms instead of bread for the "wrapper."

1 Sweet bell pepper, halved, cored and seeded, and each half pressed flat
1 Small eggplant, sliced length-wise or sandwich length, approx 1/4 inch thick
6 Ounces cheese of your choice (try Swiss, Gruyere or Colby for a change), thinly sliced
French, rye or wheat bread (or Portobello mushrooms)
Olive oil
1/2 Cup approximate fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried (leave whole)

First Step:
Lightly brush eggplant strips and peppers with olive oil. Sear vegetables 1 minute each side on grill or in pan, then cook, turning often until desired doneness. If using Portobello mushrooms instead of bread for the "buns," grill mushrooms in the same manner.

Second Step:
Lightly brush bread with olive oil and assemble sandwiches, alternating layers of vegetables, cheese, and basil leaves beginning and ending with cheese. Toast sandwiches on grill or in pan, turning at least once, until cheese is just melty.

Serve with fresh fruit and a glass of herb water--outstanding!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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