Eggplant Parmesan Grilled Cheese
Makes 2 sandwiches
- 1 medium-sized eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
- Kosher salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten in a shallow bowl
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup all purpose-flour, combined with breadcrumbs in a second shallow bowl
- Olive oil
- Your favorite tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup freshly grated extra-sharp provolone
- 1 fist-sized ball of fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Basil leaves
- Crusty bread
Layer and salt eggplant slices in a colander in the sink; use heavy plates to press the eggplant to drain, about two hours. Rinse off salt and pat the slices dry. Heat 1/4 inch of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat, and begin coating the eggplant, first in egg, then in the flour/breadcrumb mixture. When the oil is hot, fry eggplant until golden brown, about three minutes a side; drain on brown paper bag or paper towels.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a glass baking dish, spread half the tomato sauce, layer half the eggplant, half the grated cheeses, and repeat – sauce, eggplant – remainder of the grated cheese, and half the mozzarella slices. Bake for 20-25 minutes; remove from oven and allow the dish to rest for 5 minutes.
Build a sandwich with eggplant, mozzarella, and basil leaves; melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Grill until the bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, about five minutes a side.