Make the most of the up-coming long weekend—the holiday we think of as the end of summer. Grilling is still a great option this time of year (and we bet you haven’t had enough barbecued chicken, juicy steak or kebabs yet!). There are plenty of vegetables and fruits still available: zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, corn, raspberries, melon, to name a few. This Labor Day recipe is perfect for an end-of-summer potluck or picnic.
Grilled Eggplant Panini
Grilled eggplant is one of life’s simpler pleasures: creamy and rich. Look for medium-size, purple eggplants with firm skins and no mushy spots. This end-of-summer treat will be even tastier if you can find the vegetables at a local farmstand—or in your own backyard!
Ingredients – Makes: 4 sandwiches
• 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 8 1/2-inch slices eggplant, (about 1 small)
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
• 8 slices whole-grain country bread
• 8 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
• 1/3 cup sliced jarred roasted red peppers
• 4 thin slices red onion
1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
2. Combine mayonnaise and basil in a small bowl. Using 1 tablespoon oil, lightly brush both sides of eggplant and sprinkle each slice with garlic salt. With the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, brush one side of each slice of bread.
3. Grill the eggplant for 6 minutes, turn with a spatula, top with cheese, and continue grilling until the cheese is melted and the eggplant is tender, about 4 minutes more. Toast the bread on the grill, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
4. To assemble sandwiches: Spread basil mayonnaise on four slices of bread. Top with the cheesy eggplant, red peppers, onion and the remaining slices of bread. Cut in half and serve warm.
Nutrition – Per serving: 337 calories; 16 g fat (6 g sat, 6 g mono); 22 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein; 7 g fiber; 659 mg sodium; 353 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Folate (28% daily value), Calcium (25% dv), Selenium (23% dv), Iron (15% dv).