Sandwiches are always an easy, go-to recipe – if you’re up for processed meats and preservative-laden spreads, anyway. For those of us looking for healthy sandwich ideas (and tired of the typical raw veggie and hummus concoction), though, the Quarter-Life Cooks and founders of Big Girls Small Kitchen have us covered with a perfect fall version we’re drooling over as we type!
Roasted Eggplant Sandwich with White Bean Spread & Pesto
2 medium eggplants, quartered and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 medium red onions, quartered and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chives (optional)
1 loaf fresh sourdough or country white bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 10)
1/2 cup pesto
1 cup white bean spread (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggplant, onion, olive oil and salt. Toss until fully coated and then turn out onto a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Shake the pan to make sure the vegetables lie flat and have the maximum possible surface area exposed. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. With a spatula, redistribute the vegetables so they brown on the opposite side and return to the oven for another 10-20 minutes, until the vegetables are dark brown and caramelized. Remove to a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and chives, if using. (Eggplant can be made up to 2 days in advance). Lay 6 slices of bread on a work surface. Slather each with pesto and divide the eggplant among the slices. Slather the remaining bread with the white bean spread, and top the sandwiches. If traveling, wrap each individual sandwich in foil and take with you to your picnic.
White Bean Spread
One 15-ounce can cannelloni or white beans
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or thyme leaves (optional)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small food processor or blender, puree the beans, lemon juice, herbs (if using), garlic, olive oil and salt. Add another tablespoon of olive oil if the mixture is still coarse, and puree until smooth. Spread some on the above vegetarian sandwiches and use the excess spread as a dip for crudités or slather it on crusty bread and serve as a crostini.
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