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This sandwich has been vegetarianized from one we did in a recent class I had - sub baby spinach greens for prosciutto, add some sweetness to the herbed ricotta spread with honey and switch up the fresh herbs a bit. It's a great do-ahead recipe because you can spend about 20 minutes one night making the ricotta and eggplant and then the next just put it altogether and grill. Thanks to the eggplant, this panini is High in fiber (who knew eggplant was high in fiber?!). It's also a Good Source of Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Riboflavin.
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Herbed Ricotta Eggplant Panini

September 10, 2014

appetizer, main, sandwich, summer

This sandwich has been vegetarianized from one we did in a recent class I had - sub baby spinach greens for prosciutto, add some sweetness to the herbed ricotta spread with honey and switch up the fresh herbs a bit. It's a great do-ahead recipe because you can spend about 20 minutes one night making the ricotta and eggplant and then the next just put it altogether and grill. Thanks to the eggplant, this panini is High in fiber (who knew eggplant was high in fiber?!). It's also a Good Source of Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Riboflavin.

Information

Servings: 4
Time: About 35 minutes active; 45 minutes total plus overnight marinading
Price: About $18.40 total; $4.60 per panini
Nutrition (per serving):
Calories: 462.7
Protein: 11.4g
Fat: 28.1g
Saturated fat: 7.5g
Carbohydrates: 41.7g
Fiber: 5g
Sodium: 916.2mg
Cholesterol: 28.9mg
High In:
Good Source:
Low In:

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant (about 1 1/4 lbs)
  • 1 tsp SnP, each, plus extra 1-2 Tbsp salt, divided
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, roughly chopped, divided
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped, divided
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped, divided
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Handful of greens, such as spinach or arugula
  • Panini bread or rolls (I used ciabatta)

Preparation

  1. Slice the eggplant into 1/8" rounds. Place in a colander set in the sink and salt each round liberally (using about 1-2 Tbsp in total). Let sit one hour, then rinse and dry thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine ricotta, half the basil, thyme and parsley, honey and 1/2 tsp SnP, each. Put into a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In another plastic container, combine remaining basil, thyme and parsley, remaining SnP, EVOO, vinegar and garlic. Gently toss the eggplant rounds in the marinade and refrigerate overnight.
  4. The next day, spread one side of your bread/roll with 1/4 cup of the herbed ricotta, then lay several rounds of eggplant on the other side and top with some greens. Repeat with the other sandwiches and then grill 4-5 minutes per side on an outdoor grill or grill pan coated with cooking spray. Serve with my Easiest Tomato Sauce Ever.

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