My mama had about two things that if they were on a menu, she’d order them without even thinking about it. One was a Reuben, and the other was eggplant ANYTHING.
This year, I grew mama some in my garden…but now she’s not here to enjoy it with me. If she were here, I’d make her this sandwich combining eggplant with all the other things growing in abundance this time of year. I’d add in some creamy cheese, lots of basil, and toasted french bread and together we’d get our faces covered in red sauce, cheese, and summertime.
This isn’t totally my recipe… it’s a riff on my very first food blogger crush, Smitten Kitchen’s ratatouille sub..but focuses exclusively on what grows in my vegetable & herb garden and uses different cheese and spices. As it turns out, no matter how much I like an original recipe, I inherited my dad’s inability to follow one to the letter (well, we CAN do it…but we just always seem to want to do it just a little bit differently to see what happens). It drove my Mama crazy.
Anyway, I’ve been making this sandwich every summer for years with multiple variations–usually about July when we find ourselves elbow deep in homegrown eggplant, zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes—I think it tastes like summer on bread.
Got a plethora of summer garden vegetables? Looking to TASTE summertime? Love eggplant like Mama? This is your gooey, summery, fresh supper tonight (and then lunch again tomorrow!) OR a super easy and divine summer meal for when your friends come over and rather than slave in the kitchen getting everything put together you just want to watch the kids play and drink G&Ts.
- FOR THE SUB FILLING
- 1-2 thin Eggplant (I'm growing the Japanese kind) cut into thin rounds and halved if they are large
- 2-3 Summer Squash, cut into thin rounds and halved if they are large
- 1-2 Zucchini, cut into thin rounds and halved if they are large
- 3 small Tomatoes, cut into rounds
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 5 Basil Leaves, chiffonaded
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Oregano
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- FOR THE SANDWICH
- Burrata Cheese
- Basil leaves, chiffonaded
- Salt, Pepper to taste
- 1-2 Large French Bread loaves, toasted and halved (or quartered)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Cut up the vegetables.
- In a baking dish (ideally round), spread the tomato sauce, stir in the minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, a few pinches of salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Arrange the slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes so that they overlap.
- Drizzle the remaining olive oil, another layer of tomato sauce, and basil & oregano.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Split the sub rolls and warm up for 5 minutes in the oven or bake according to package directions.
- Once the bread is ready, layer the vegetables on top of your rolls, spread the cheese, and sprinkle salt & pepper and basil.