I’ve made a series of “Adult Grilled Cheeses” over the years. These are more sophisticated versions of the American classic of melted cheese between two slices of bread.
This recipe is by far the healthiest version, since it has no bread. The “bread” is the grilled eggplant, the melted cheese is fresh mozzarella (or use a cheese substitute such as mozzarella sheese for a vegan version) and the tomato is a natural addition. Serve it with crispy kale chips and you’ll knock healthy, delicious, creative and easy out of the park.
It’s meant to be eaten with fork, which goes nicely with its more worldly appeal.
(Makes 2 “sandwiches”)
- 1 large eggplant, sliced vertically into 6 (1/4” or slightly thicker) slices
- 8 slices of fresh mozzarella - 1/4” or slightly thicker (or cheese substitute such as mozzarella sheese)
- 8 slices of fresh ripe tomato - 1/4” thick
Place eggplant slices on a hot indoor or outdoor grill that’s been brushed with a bit of olive oil. No need to oil the eggplant, it has enough moisture. Grill on both sides until the eggplant is cooked through, but still firm and the grill lines are defined; about 3 to 4 minutes on each side depending on how hot your grill is.
Remove and set aside. Cut your tomatoes and cheese. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, start with one slice and top with 2 or three slices of cheese, (depending on how big your slices are) 2 slices of tomato and then repeat. Top with a final slice of the eggplant. I grilled my eggplant in a panini press, so my slices came out pretty thin, which is why I made this into a double decker. If you grill them without pressing, you can just use 2 slices of eggplant per sandwich, in which case, this recipe will make 3 sandwiches.
Place in the oven (or back on the grill covered with foil) for about 3 - 4 minutes, or just until the cheese softens and begins to melt.
Serve with the kale chips below and you have an outstanding lunch or dinner.
For the Kale Chips:
1 batch (or however much you want to make) fresh kale; rinsed and dried.
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with sea or kosher salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Break chip size pieces of kale from their center core. Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil and salt. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the chips are crispy.