Grilled Eggplant, Broccoli Rabe, and Mozzarella Sandwich Recipe

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Grilled Eggplant, Broccoli Rabe, and Mozzarella Sandwich Recipe

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

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  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes


  • 2 Italian eggplants, ends trimmed, sliced 1/4-inch thick lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, hard ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 ciabatta-style rolls, halved horizontally
  • 1 (1 pound) ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch disks
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped


  1. 1.

    Brush eggplant slices on both sides with one tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a large plate or baking sheet and set aside.

  2. 2.

    Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until beginning to color, about 30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes and broccoli rabe and cook, stirring often, until stems are bright green, about two minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender, about eight minutes. Remove cover and cook until any remaining liquid evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large plate and allow to cool.

  3. 3.

    Heat a grill, grill pan, or broiler to medium. Cook eggplant slices, flipping occasionally, until lightly browned on both sides and completely tender, 6 to 10 minutes total. Set aside.

  4. 4.

    Brush cut side of each ciabatta roll with remaining olive oil. Grill until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Set bread aside.

  5. 5.

    Top each bottom slice with grilled eggplant, broccoli rabe, fresh mozzarella, and some chopped basil. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and then cap with top piece of bread. Press to close, and serve.