Grilled Eggplant Ciabatta

This classic sandwich is perfect for a summer day and will make your mouth water with your first bite. The Aroma Grillet 3-in-1 makes preparation a snap and clean-up even better with one appliance to do it all.  Grill it for Dad or for just yourself!

1 large eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2/3 cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic minced (½ for eggplant marinade and ½ for tomato sauce)
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
sea salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp crushed red pepper
½ cup coarsely cut fresh basil
¼ cup parmesan cheese
4 ciabatta rolls cut in half
4 tbsp pesto
1½ cups arugula
4 thinly sliced provolone

Cut eggplant into 1/4” slices.
Combine olive oil, half of the minced garlic, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Put eggplant slices in a flat dish and cover with marinade. Let marinade for 15 minutes while making the tomato sauce.
For tomato sauce: Combine tomatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the other half of garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and the crushed red pepper in a bowl.
Transfer tomato mixture to Grillet. Bring to boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes uncovered or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in 3/4 cup chopped basil and the Parmesan. Remove sauce and pour into a bowl. Set aside.
Unplug and remove temperature probe from Grillet. Take grill to the sink and rinse out the tomato sauce.  Return probe and plug in to begin preheating at 450 degrees. Place eggplant slices in a single layer onto the grill. Grill for approximately 4 – 5 minutes per side or until tender and with good grill marks.
Remove eggplant from grill and repeat with other eggplant slices. Spread approximately 1 tsp pesto onto each cut side of the ciabatta rolls.  Place cut sides down onto the grill for 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted.
To assemble sandwiches: Place desired amount of arugula, 3 – 5 eggplant slices onto the roll, add a bit of the sauce and top with provolone.  Spread additional sauce onto the top half of roll and place for topping of sandwich. Cut in half to serve.

Over To You
What is your version of grilled eggplant?  Share and inspire us.

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