Looking for tasty lunch ideas? This eggplant panini with balsamic and sun-dried tomatoes makes for a perfectly healthy lunch that is also easy to prepare. Don't have panini maker? No worries, you don’t need to spend $8 to $12 at a sandwich or even buy a panini maker as you can whip this up in a skillet grill pan or on a grill or skillet. I simply pressed the top of the sandwich with the bottom part of another clean pan and the bread was crispy in a flash. I used a good quality multigrain sandwich bread to get some extra fiber. The healthier breads often have the best flavor, often adding sweetness or in this case nutty flavors.
This eggplant panini contains provolone cheese, spinach, grilled eggplant (see recipe below), and cooked sun-dried tomatoes in balsamic vinegar. Eggplant and sun-dried tomatoes have flavors that compliment one another quite well in pasta dishes and sandwiches. Vegetarians will surely like this lunch but don’t hold back from making it for meat eaters as well. The eggplant can hold its own for flavor and consistency in place of a protein, much like it does in eggplant parmesan.
Hope you'll enjoy this easy lunch sandwich recipe of eggplant panini balsamic sun-dried tomatoes. My husband went crazy for it and my kids actually ate it up too. If you’re having guests over to watch some sports it’s quick to whip up ten or more of these sandwiches without that much extra effort, just be careful on your portions of salt, garlic and pepper.
- 1 eggplant cut into sandwich sized pieces
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 oz Sun Dried Tomatoes without oil or juice
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- optional: ⅛ cup white wine
- Provolone cheese
- Multigrain Sandwich Bread
- Combine the butter, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning and black pepper into a bowl and stir well.
- Brush eggplant with butter mixture and place on a grill. Cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side or until tender. Set aside.
Balsamic Sun-Dried Tomatoes:
- Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook garlic until fragrant. Add sun dried tomatoes, then cook for about 50 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar and white wine and keep cooking until the juice evaporates for about 1-2 minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
To Assemble Panini:
- Slightly butter each side of sandwich loaf. Pre heat the grill pan over medium heat.
- Top each slice with provolone, spinach, grilled eggplant, balsamic sun-dried tomatoes and top with another slice of sandwich loaf, butter side up.
- Place a heavy skillet over the panini and press down, cooking for about 2 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.