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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Eggplant panino a great sandwich

By Elaine Magee


Q. I love summertime sandwiches and wondered if you had one that you like to make that might be vegetarian. I'm trying to eat less meat these days. Thanks!

A. I couldn't agree with you more! First of all I've got my girls home with me during the day and it's fun to try out some different "teen-friendly" sandwiches. But also since the weather is warm, sandwiches become the new easy dinner. To me, summer is sandwich season.

For a fun vegetarian sandwich, here's an eggplant sandwich you can whip up once you've broiled the eggplant slices. You can broil up a batch (one eggplant's worth) and keep them covered in the refrigerator until needed.

For comparison purposes, a quarter-pound hamburger with cheese contains around 520 calories, 29 grams of fat, 13 grams saturated fat and 97 mg cholesterol.


1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices

1 tablespoon olive oil (or canola oil)

4 sandwich panini breads or focaccia rolls cut in half

3-4 tablespoons pesto (e.g. Armanino Farms, with 18 grams fat per 1/4 cup)

4 tablespoons toasted walnut pieces (optional)

4 ounces sliced provolone cheese (reduced-fat jack or mozzarella can be substituted)

3 medium tomatoes, sliced (let juice drain off before adding to sandwich)

About 12 fresh basil leaves

Preheat broiler. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with canola or olive oil cooking spray. Lay eggplant slices on prepared baking sheet and brush tops with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Flip slices over and brush the other sides with remaining olive oil. Broil 6 inches from the heat source until golden brown, watching carefully, and then flip over to lightly brown other side (about 3-4 minutes per side.) You can do this step a day ahead if you would like, just cover the eggplant slices and store in refrigerator.

Spread the pesto evenly over the four bottom pieces of the panini breads (or focaccia) and sprinkle the walnut pieces on top if desired. Add a few pieces of the eggplant to each sandwich bottom and top with the provolone, fresh basil leaves, and tomato slices. Top this with the second half of the panino or foccacia, cut diagonally and serve!

Makes about 4 sandwiches

  • Per serving: 339 calories, 15 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 5 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 650 mg sodium, Omega-3 fatty acids 1 g, Weight Watchers points, 7 (half a sandwich, 3 points), Omega-6 fatty acids, 1 g.

    Elaine Magee, a registered dietitian, is the author of 25 books including her most recent, "Fry Light, Fry Right" and "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Headaches and Migraines." You can find out more and submit recipes at www.recipedoc tor.com. Personal responses cannot be provided. This column is distributed by the Knight Ridder News Service.