Open-Face Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

  • Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices of peasant bread
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • One 1 1/4-pound eggplant, sliced crosswise 1 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 pound buffalo mozzarella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 8 large basil leaves, torn
  • Coarse sea salt

Light a grill. Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil and grill over high heat until crisp on the outside but still soft inside, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a platter.

Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat until charred on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and grill until tender, about 3 minutes longer.

Top the eggplant with the tomato, mozzarella and basil. Cover the grill and cook until the cheese melts, 2 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bread, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

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