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Grilled Eggplant and Brie Sandwiches with Olive Tapenade

Makes 2 sandwiches

Time: about 1 hour. Charis Janda had trouble finding a restaurant that made eggplant sandwiches, so she invented this very tasty one. If you don't have time to make the tapenade, just substitute your favorite store-bought kind. The sandwich then takes 40 minutes to make.

 1 medium eggplant
  About 1 tsp. kosher salt
 1/4 cup olive oil
 2 large garlic cloves
 1 or 2 anchovy fillets
 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
 1/2 cup pitted mixed brined olives (such as Ni├žoise, picholine, or Cerignola)
 2 tablespoons oil-packed dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped
 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
 8 fresh basil leaves
  Freshly ground black pepper
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  Sandwiches and assembly
 1 cup loosely packed mixed baby lettuces
  Your favorite herb salad dressing
 4 freshly cut thick slices (3/4 in.) from a sourdough French loaf
  About 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
 4 ounces ripe brie cheese, sliced
 1 roasted red pepper, rinsed, peeled, and cut into 1-in. strips
  Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1

Prepare eggplant: Slice into 1/2-in.-thick rounds. Sprinkle both sides with salt and let sit 1/2 hour. Pat dry, brush with oil, and cook over medium heat in a large cast-iron skillet on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes total.

Step 2

Meanwhile, make tapenade: Put garlic and anchovies to taste in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Add olives, tomatoes, capers, basil, and pepper to taste and pulse to combine. Add oil and pulse until combined but still a little bit chunky.

Step 3

Make sandwiches: Toss lettuce with a minimal amount of dressing. Spread 1 side of 2 bread slices with 2 tbsp. tapenade each. Brush other 2 slices with oil on 1 side, then turn over and top with most of brie, lettuce, red pepper strips, and eggplant, dividing evenly. Add remaining brie and top with tapenade-spread bread slices, with tapenade side down. Brush tops of sandwiches with olive oil and season with pepper.

Step 4

Reheat cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Put sandwiches in skillet and cook, turning once until golden brown and cheese is gooey, about 5 minutes total.

Step 5

Note: Nutritional analysis is per sandwich.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 0

Amount Per Serving
Calories 1223Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 103g159%

Saturated Fat 22g111%
Cholesterol 58mg20%
Sodium 2417mg101%
Total Carbohydrate 61g21%

Dietary Fiber 8.2g33%
Protein 22g44%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.