Grilled Eggplant & Fontina Sandwiches

1 hour 15 minutesServes 6


  • 1 ½ lbs eggplant (about 1 large), top trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
  • 6 oz fontina cheese, sliced and cut into 12 equal pieces
  • 12 slices crusty sourdough bread (cut from a wide loaf)
  • 1 c olive tapenade
  • 1 bunch arugula, stemmed


Using a serrated knife, cut eggplant crosswise into 12 slices about ½-inch thick. Place eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of salt and toss. Let stand in a sink to drain for 1 hour. Rinse eggplant under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.

Meanwhile, prepare an outdoor grill to medium high heat. Clean grill grates.

Brush eggplant rounds on both sides with oil. Place eggplant on grill and close grill lid. Cook until eggplant is browned on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until eggplant is tender, about 4 minutes more. Top each eggplant round with a piece of fontina. Transfer to a platter. (Residual heat will melt cheese.)

Place bread slices on grill and grill, turning once, until toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer to platter. For each sandwich, spread two bread slices with tapenade. Place two eggplant slices on one piece of bread and top with a few arugula leaves. Top with second piece of bread and cut in half. Serve immediately.

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