Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grilled Veggie & Goat Cheese Sandwich

Wait - don't go away!! I know this recipe sounds a little strange but believe you me - it is FANTASTIC!

We signed up with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this summer. In a nutshell it means you pre-pay for a seasons (June through October) worth of organic fresh fruit and veggies from a local farmer. In turn every week he packs a 1/2 bushel box full of everything that is ready to go from his farm that week. There are a couple of things we really like about this program - 1) we are helping to support a local organic farmer 2) we are getting fresh organic produce and 3) we are forced to try new veggies!

We did this two years ago and although we had good intentions I'll admit by halfway through the summer we kind of pooped out and a lot of our wonderful produce ended up in the composter (we joked that we had really nice, expensive organic compost in there!). This summer we are spliting a half share with a neighbor so the amount of produce we get is a lot less and for us that seems more manageable at this point in our lives.

A few things we have eaten from our CSA that I normally wouldn't think of buying: beets and beet greens, kale, lots of different mixed baby greens, fennel, garlic scapes, green garlic, patty pan, cabbage (we tried it sauteed and it was great!) and then this sandwich. I normally do not like eggplant, but there it was in our box last week: a baby eggplant. Thankfully they also include some recipes they have gathered to use the ingredients in that week's box and I was determined to eat that eggplant!

This was originally found on I loved the recipe as written but next time I would peel the eggplant. You can substitute whatever grilled summer veggies you have on hand.

3 T olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 12-inch-long baguette, cut in half horizontally
1 small eggplant cut lengthwise into six 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 medium tomatoes, cut into 10 slices total
3 oz soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet)
12 fresh basil leaves

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Combine oil and garlic in small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Brush cut sides of baguette and both sides of eggplant and tomato slices with garlic oil. Grill cut sides of baguette until toasted; about 2 minutes. Transfer baguette, cut side up, to plates. Season eggplant and tomatoes with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant until cooked through, abt 6 minutes per side, transfer to plate. Grill tomatoes until warmed though, abt 1 minute per side; transfer to plate. Spread goat cheese on bread, dividing equally. Overlap eggplant slices, then tomatos slices on baguette halves, covering completely. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Cut each sandwich diagonally into 4 sections and serve. 2 servings.

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