Grilled Eggplant, Fontina,Tomato and Arugula…Sandwich?

With the burger grilling season upon us I like to include some grilled veggie options for my veggie loving friends.  I find it hard to call it a grilled “sandwich”.  The eggplant slices do function as the “bread” but it’s not a “sandwich” you’d want to hold in your hands to eat.  Okay, maybe, if you don’t mind getting a bit messy.  But then again, if Bobby Flay refers to this as a “sandwich”, then by all means, it is a sandwich!

I have followed his recipe using goat cheese and basil oil  but this time I made it with fontina cheese and sage.  It’s quite versatile and I find myself returning to this recipe often switching around the cheeses and herbs.  When I have used a smaller, thinner eggplant, the stacks are more appetizer-like though I will serve this as a side, an appetizer or an entrée’.   It’s wonderful served warm but just as good room temperature.

 Grilled Eggplant, Fontina, Tomato and Arugula Sandwich

Adapted from Bobby Flay, Boy Meets Grill

For the herb oil:

½ cup olive oil

½ cup chopped fresh sage or fresh basil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the eggplant sandwiches (for 8 sandwiches):

2 medium eggplants, cut crosswise into ¼ – ½ inch slices, 16 slices

2 tomatoes cut into ¼ inch slices, 8 slices

1/4 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

8 ounces fontina cheese, thinly sliced


1/4 cup packed fresh sage or fresh basil, chopped or chiffonade the basil

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

For the herb oil:  Combine the olive oil and herbs in a food processor, season with salt and pepper.  Process until pureed, about 5 minutes.

For the sandwiches:  Combine the olive oil and garlic in a large bowl or ziplock baggie.  Add the eggplant and allow to marinate for 1 hour, refrigerated.

Preheat grill or grill pan to high.  Remove eggplant from marinade and shake off any excess.  Season with salt and pepper, grill until golden brown and cooked through about 3 minutes per side.  Place 8 eggplant slices on a work surface.  Top with a slice of tomato, slice of cheese and a few arugula leaves.  Cover with the remaining eggplant slices.  Place on grill until cheese has softened about 1 minute.  Arrange on a platter and drizzle with the herb oil and sprinkle on fresh chopped herbs.

35 thoughts on “Grilled Eggplant, Fontina,Tomato and Arugula…Sandwich?

  1. Can I come over for lunch?! This looks amazing! I love eggplant…and tomatoes…and cheese…and crispy bread…and arugula. This one is a winner. 🙂

  2. I made something similar once, but slicing the aubergines lengthways – Now that I see it this way it seems so much more logical to slice them this way… why on earth did I never think of this before? 😀

    I’m having a bit of a feta addiction at the moment so I’d whack some of that in there too… Looks super yummy!

  3. This looks fantastic! I make a breaded and fried eggplant sandwich with goat cheese, basil and tomato; it is super delicious but packs many more calories than your version. I am certainly looking forward to giving this recipe a try!

    1. That’s how we eat our eggplant sandwiches too, Ginger! Except we add a bunch of diced garlic to our sandwiches and sometimes add sauteed portobello mushrooms. It’s my favorite sandwich ever! 🙂

  4. This eggplant sandwich is to die for. I believe this is what my mother was looking for when she wanted to try something new.. even though she doesn’t know it lol. She loves eggplant, sending this recipe over right away.

  5. Oh wow, that is one elegant looking sandwich! I wouldn’t mind having a couple of those… in fact, I would love to reach through my screen and grab a few. They are fantastic!

  6. This is the most delicious way of using eggplant. It is telling me to get in the kitchen and start cooking but I have no eggplant. I think, it would be on the table shorthly, if I did have it. This is a keeper.

  7. I could eat this every day of the week! My husband and I eat eggplant sandwiches a lot, but we have ours with goat cheese and we fry the eggplant (which is breaded). I’d love to try it the way you made it…grilled and with fontina cheese. I’m sure it’s heavenly! 🙂

  8. WOW! I am speechless on this. So fresh so flavorful. I love eggplant and with the woodsy taste of arugula I just know this sandwich is the best ever! Great job

  9. I know i just left a comment yesterday but i had to stop by and tell you about my awesome olive oil giveaway! it is so wonderful- 9 different samples of infused olive oils from flavors around the world. You have to come see if and when you get the chance! XO

  10. Linda, these are so great! I’ve not seen eggplant used this way before and the fontina sounds especially yummy…. a fresh and healthy twist on breaded grilled cheese.

  11. What a delicious sandwich! Life has been beyond hectic for the last two weeks or so and my time in the kitchen was very limited, I am looking forward to trying this recipe very soon. Thank you for sharing, Linda.

  12. I’m very particular about how eggplant is prepare (simply because I’m not the biggest fan of the veg). However, this looks absolutely phenomenal and I can’t wait to make it. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

  13. What a coincidence! Just today a TV chef made her version of an eggplant sandwich — but hers didn’t come close to being as appetizing as yours looks and the recipe sounds. She should have asked a Siciliana for help.

  14. I made a variation of these tonight. They were soooooo good. Instead of the dressing, I used your recipe for spicy mayo from your eggplant fries. YUM! So glad you posted. Thank you.

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