Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

from Fine Cooking

For the vinaigrette:

3/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves           1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1-1/2 tsp. minced garlic                                    1 Tbs. pine nuts
2 Tbs. red-wine vinegar                                    Scant 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste


For the sandwich:

1 large or 2 small eggplant                                 Salt
Olive oil                                                            8 slices country bread
8 slices ripe tomatoes                                        Arugula
4 thin slices provolone cheese                             


To make the vinaigrette: In a food processor, combine the basil, thyme, garlic, pine nuts, and vinegar. Process until finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream. Adjust seasonings if needed.


To prepare the eggplant: Slice the eggplant 1/2 inch thick.  Light a grill fire. Brush the slices generously with olive oil. Over a part of the grill that’s medium hot, grill the slices until soft and cooked through, about 5 min. per side.  Grill the bread slices until lightly toasted. Brush the eggplant, tomatoes, and the slices of bread with the vinaigrette. Assemble each sandwich with Arugula leaves, eggplant, tomatoes, and cheese. Slice each sandwich and serve.