Ya had me at tomato jam.
Joanne posted this recipe not too long ago. And although I love everything about this concept for a sandwich, it is the tomato jam that gets me every time. It is like the Red Onion Marmalade, but with some fire-roasted tomatoes added in.
I think of this sandwich as being sort of like an Eggplant Parmesan sandwich. In the sense that it has the eggplant, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. However, the eggplant is grilled. The tomatoes have tang from the balsamic vinegar and sweetness from the caramelized onions and brown sugar. And the mozzarella is smoked (smells like ham). Also, there is no parmesan and some peppery, bitter arugula thrown in there.
Rach. Ray has some signature ingredients she uses over and over. Like Bobby Flay and manchego cheese. Like Paula Deen and butter. Like Giada and Parmesan. Like ME and goat cheese! Well, RRs is smoked mozzarella. Until I moved to the East Coast, I have never been able to find the stuff. As I am strolling through the grocery store, local smoked mozzarella just jumps out at me. It is fresh mozzarella...smoked. It seriously smells like smoked meat.
Lastly, I did salt my eggplant and let it sit in a colander to release all its liquid. Probably not necessary for a quick grill like this. But you know...just for the record. I also didn't make 1/2 cup of infused oil, I just made a couple of tablespoons.
Grilled Eggplant Subs with Mozzarella and Tomato Jam
by Rachael Ray with modification
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig rosemary
1 small red onion, chopped
One can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 eggplants, cut into slices
Salt and pepper
1 cup packed baby arugula
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 sesame-crusted sub rolls
One 1/2-1-pound ball smoked mozzarella, sliced into 8 rounds
Pre-heat a grill pan to medium-high or a broiler to high. In a small saucepan, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the garlic and rosemary and let steep for 3 minutes.
In a large skillet, combine 1 tablespoon of the infused EVOO and the red onion over medium heat and cook until softened, 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar and vinegar, lower the heat and cook until thickened, 10 minutes.
Brush half the eggplant with the infused EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil, flipping once, until tender, 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Dress the arugula and basil with the lemon juice and remaining infused EVOO; season with salt and pepper.
On each roll bottom, layer eggplant slices, a handful of greens and 2 smoked mozzarella rounds. Grill or broil to melt the cheese. Slather the roll tops with the tomato jam and set in place.
(Servings: 4, Prep time: 45 min., Cook time: 10 min., Difficulty: Easy)
Shanon (taste): 8/10
Scot (taste): 8/10
Dishwashing Effort: 3/5