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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Try a handful of Mediterranean flavors

 •  The perfect prune cake

By Elaine Magee

The Mediterranean pita sandwich fills pita pocket halves with grilled eggplant, goat cheese, walnuts, tomatoes, spinach and pesto. The resulting healthy supper sandwich is different from the same old stuff.

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It's that time of the year when people make sandwiches for supper because it's too darn hot to cook. Wouldn't it be nice though, if we weren't making the same old, same old ones? In the next four weeks, let's expand our healthful sandwich horizon with some new recipes.

This week, it's a Mediterranean pita sandwich with grilled eggplant, a mixture of goat cheese and walnuts, sliced tomato, spinach leaves and a thin layer of pesto, all inside a whole-wheat pita pocket. It's a lacto-ovo vegetarian option. If the whole-wheat pita pocket is going too far for you or if you can't find them in your supermarket, this works great on sliced sourdough or whole-grain bread.

This sandwich can be wrapped well and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.


  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/3-inch- thick slices
  • Canola or olive-oil cooking spray
  • 4 teaspoons store-bought pesto sauce
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat goat cheese (if not available, use semi-soft goat cheese)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons toasted walnut pieces
  • 1 tomato, sliced thin
  • About 12 spinach leaves

    Preheat indoor grill, toaster oven or oven broiler. Spray both sides of eggplant slices with canola or olive-oil cooking spray and place on sheet of foil if using a toaster oven or oven broiler.

    If using an indoor grill (such as the George Foreman), place the eggplant slices between the two grill plates. Cook until eggplant is soft on the inside and lightly brown on the outside (about 7 to 8 minutes).

    If using a broiler, place the eggplant slices about 5 inches from the broiling unit. Watching carefully, flip eggplant over when the top is nicely brown and broil until the second side is nicely brown too (this could take around 8 minutes total).

    In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese with the toasted walnuts and a sprinkle or two of black pepper (to taste).

    To assemble the sandwiches, spread the bottom inside of each pita half with a teaspoon of pesto, then spread a heaping tablespoon of the goat cheese mixture over that. Fill each pita half with at least 2 slices of eggplant and tomato and a few spinach leaves. If you aren't going to eat these right away, wrap well with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until needed.

    Makes 2 whole sandwiches (2 halves each).

  • Per serving (whole sandwich): 255 calories, 10 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated, 4 g monounsaturated fat, 4 g polyunsaturated fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 426 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 38 percent. Omega-3s: .4 g. Weight Watchers points: 5. Omega-6s: 3 g.

    Elaine Magee is author of "The Recipe Doctor Cookbook" and "The Flax Cookbook." Reach her through www.recipedoctor.com.