May 8, 2011

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Panini

It's Mothers day, and I know everyone says this about their Mom, but for my money, my mom is truly the best. 


Why My Mom Is My Favorite Mom, a List:

1. She's caring.

2. She's fun.

3. She's really funny.

4. She's a great cook and she cares about healthy eating for all of us, even when the rest of the family gives her flak about using fat free sour cream.

5. She likes to talk to me on the phone any time of the day.

6. She's OK with me living thousands of miles from Texas, though she does call it "unnatural."

7. She likes to look forward to something exciting, which means exciting things are always happening around her.  You definitely want to be her friend.

8. She's always on our side.  Always.

9. She rescues animals without question and is the reason I can't live without something furry in my house, even if that furry creature is a codependent, clumsy mess and isn't happy unless he's laying on or across me. 

10. She supports me, is proud of me and is my biggest fan, which is actually pretty incredible considering sometimes I don't deserve a fan, much less a biggest one.

Mama, you know I love you more'n my luggage.  (Name that movie)

Spud!  I'm a chain!  (same movie)

Here's a quick and easy vegetarian Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Panini in honor of my sweet vegetarian Mama.

I had originally planned to blog about a family recipe, and eat cereal for dinner last Sunday, but I was in the grocery store and I came across this beauty and I knew roasted eggplant was in my future.  It's the most beautiful eggplant I've ever seen.  Ever.

So I sliced that beautiful baby up, drizzled some olive oil on top, seasoned with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and roasted it in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

After the eggplant had been roasting for about half an hour, I sliced up some Roma tomatoes, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and added them to the roasting pan and cooked for 10 minutes more.

While the vegetables were roasting, I started building my panini.  I took a roll and drizzled a little olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, then added a slice of provolone cheese and some fresh basil leaves.

When the vegetables were finished, I added a layer of tomatoes, then a generous layer of roasted eggplant.

Then I sandwiched the sandwich.

And grilled it until the cheese was melted and the bread was nice and grilled.  Here's a disclaimer, though:  I don't have a panini press so my panini looks more like a smushed sandwich.  Don't be like me.  Use a panini press and get those beautiful grill marks.

I love roasted eggplant so very much and this sandwich was no exception.  I think eggplant brings a certain meaty quality to a meat-less meal and therefore is incredibly satisfying, not to mention delicious.

Happy Mother's day Mama.  And to all you other Mamas out there, Happy Mother's Day to you too.  You ladies rock.

Here's the recipe:

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Panini (makes 1 sandwich with leftover fillins')

1 eggplant, sliced
3 Roma Tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 slice provolone cheese
5 leaves fresh basil, stems removed
1 bulkie roll or two slices of bread
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 red pepper flakes (or less if you want less spice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place sliced eggplant on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and roast for 30 minutes.

When the eggplant has roasted for 30 minutes, place sliced tomatoes on the pan and season those with salt and pepper.  Roast for 10 minutes more, just until the tomatoes are soft.

Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over the two slices of bread, then repeat with the balsamic vinegar.  Layer a slice of provolone cheese and some fresh basil leaves onto the bread, then layer tomatoes, then eggplant.  Close the sandwich and grill on a panini press for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread has some good grill marks on it.


1 comment:

  1. "Steel Magnolias"!!

    Great movie, fun quotes and lovely tribute to your mom!