On Halloween, my school held a sweet Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character day. Maybe walking around both my workplace and the grocery store as Amelia Bedelia inspired this fun, casual dinner. But this was one of those meals where the first, divine bite was this melting moment of, “That’s the best taste in a looooooong time.” Really, it’s just a sandwich, jarred pantry ingredients, nothing fancy. And you need to grill it this week.
I should also mention that you really don’t taste the artichoke, if that’s a dealbreaker for some
Andrews readers out there.
Artichoke and Eggplant Panini
from Gourmet 2009, serves four
1 (6 oz.) jar marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small garlic clove
1 (3/4-pound) eggplant
1 (1-pound) loaf Italian bread, 8 (1/3-inch-thick) slices cut from middle
1/4 pound Fontina, thinly sliced or shredded
1/3 jar roasted red peppers (optional)
1 tablespoon drained capers (optional)
Prepare a gas grill (or stovetop grill pan) for direct-heat cooking over medium-high heat. (If you do not have a grill, brown both the eggplant and sandwich in your oven broiler).
Trim off a thin slice from 2 opposite long sides of eggplant, then cut eggplant lengthwise into 4 thin slices. Brush both sides of slices with olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
(Since Andrew isn’t “into” eggplant, I hammered one chicken breast into an even piece and grilled along with the eggplant. Literally, with a hammer).
Top each of 4 bread slices, grilled sides up, with cheese, peppers, and an eggplant slice. Spread artichoke mixture on remaining 4 bread slices, grilled sides up, then assemble sandwiches.