Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 medium to large eggplants
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing eggplant
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions (green parts only)
2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 slices of provolone cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- After removing the stems from the ends, slice each eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices, discarding the round-edged slices, for a total of eight uniform slices.
- Brush eggplant lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 minutes, flipping the eggplant once during baking.
- Meanwhile, make breadcrumb mixture. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over low heat. Add oil, garlic, parsley, and green onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in 2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cayenne, tarragon, and oregano. Stir until well combined and remove from heat.
- In a small, shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg.
- Transfer the breadcrumb mixture onto a large plate, and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.
- To prepare each eggplant slice, dip lightly into the egg, then coat generously with breadcrumbs, pressing to stick the bread to the eggplant.
- Two slices at a time, place the eggplant in the skillet over medium-low heat and cook for 2 minutes per side, until breadcrumb coating is golden brown. Top one slice of eggplant with provolone cheese and place the other slice of eggplant on top of the cheese to make a "sandwich." Cook for an additional minute per side.
- Continue with the remaining eggplant slices. If desired, transfer each completed sandwich to the baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.
Makes 4 sandwiches.