Grilled Eggplant Panini with Rosemary-Garlic Aioli
- 1 eggplant
- Dashes of salt
- 1 loaf pugliese bread, sliced
- 1 lg ripe tomato
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. mayo
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Palm full of fresh rosemary
- 4 slices of swiss cheese
- Handful basil leaves
- 2-3 tsp olive oil, for sauteing
- 2-3 tsp olive oil, for brushing bread before grilling
Slice eggplant into 1/4 or smaller slices. Lay them into a strainer and sprinkle both sides with a few dashes of salt. Place the strainer in the sink and let sit for 30 minutes. The salt will draw out the bitter juices and will give the eggplant a better flavor.
Meanwhile, slice bread into 1/4 inch slices. Slice tomato and zucchini into semi-thin slices. Prepare Rosemary-Garlic Aioli sauce. Whisk mayonaisse, lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped rosemary and salt and pepper, to taste.
After 30 minutes, the eggplant will have produced beads and become softer. Pat dry and place in skillet with 1-2 tsp olive oil. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then flip and saute the other sides for 2-3 minutes. Once they have browned a bit, they’ll be ready for the sandwiches. In the same skillet, add 1-2 more tsp olive oil and saute the slices of zucchini for 3-4 minutes, then flip and saute the other sides for 2-3 minutes.
On bread slices, add swiss cheese slice, basil leaves and the aioli sauce to the other bread. Add sliced tomato, sauteed zucchini and sauteed eggplant. Put sandwiches together. Add about 2-3 tsp olive oil to a plate and then press both of the sides of the panini into the olive oil before placing on the panini maker. Once the veggies and bread soften and come together, the panini will stick together. Watch the panini get smooshed and the cheese ooze and melt!
Serve with corn on the cob.