This Veggie Sandwich with Roasted Eggplant and Fresh Mozzarella is one of the most unique sandwiches I’ve ever tasted.
And it’s also up there in my top ten favorite sandwiches of all time.
For being a vegetarian sandwich, it is seriously not lacking in flavor. It has roasted veggies with olive oil; tomato slices, eggplant, red bell pepper, and red onion. Melty, chewy, fresh slices of mozzarella. Toasty, gluten-free buns. And my go-to Homemade Balsamic Dressing.Jump to Recipe
For More Veggie Recipes:
Is this a lunch or dinner sandwich?
I highly recommend this to be a dinner sandwich – I promise it is filling and flavorful enough to be the main star of a meat-free dinner night.
This sandwich is a bit on the time-consuming side (it’s definitely not like slapping together a peanut butter jelly or even a grilled cheese). The eggplant needs to be properly salted to take away the bitterness, veggies need to be roasted, buns need to be toasted, etc.
Why is my Veggie Sandwich so good?
My fiancée and I figured it out. It took three or four times of eating this sandwich to make the connection. This sandwich has all of the main components of pizza.
There’s the thick, toasty carbs from the toasted olive oil-drizzled bread, the roasted tomatoes, red bell peppers, and red onion, and chewy, melty fresh mozzarella slices.
Now, don’t go into this expecting a pizza, this sandwich is a thing all of its own. It’s just that the reason this sandwich is so weirdly addicting is because it’s practically like a version of elevated pizza. But if now you’re only craving pizza, you should try out my Easy Gluten Free Pizza Crust recipe.
Oh, and if you’re an eggplant lover, this one’s for you.
How to make eggplant not bitter:
This is a super important step, folks.
Cut your eggplant into coin slices (eggplants usually are thin on one end and fat on the other, because of this you will have varying sizes of coins – that’s normal). Set the eggplant coins out in a single layer on a cutting board. Vigorously salt each slice.
Salt helps draw out the bitterness of eggplant (or at-least in my experience — there seems to be some controversy over this point based off of modern eggplant being bred to be less bitter). No matter, I forgot to salt my eggplant once in another dish and the bitterness drew my mouth up, so I continue to salt.
If you scroll up to the picture above, you can see droplets of moisture on the eggplant. This is what it will look like after the salt has sat on it about 10 minutes. Rinse this off and flip your eggplant coin on the other side. Salt. After another 10 minutes, rinse again and set on your cookie sheet.
Salting was also once thought to help improve the texture of eggplant.
You can easily prep your other vegetables while the eggplant is having its me-time.
Notes on Veggie Sandwich with Roasted Eggplant & Fresh Mozzarella:
- I highly recommend making my Homemade Balsamic Dressing to go with this sandwich. It is very simple to make, uses clean ingredients, and is one of the addictive flavors in this recipe. I love this dressing so much that it’s actually one of the main stars in another recipe, my Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad.
- Be sure to salt your eggplant for 20 minutes (see above instructions in my post) to remove any bitterness.
- Eat this sandwich fresh from the oven. It tastes the best warm and toasty.
- You can make the dressing a day ahead of time to help streamline the process. Sometimes if a refrigerator is kept too cold, the olive oil in the dressing can solidify after a couple of days. You can either set it out at room temperature for an hour or so or warm it in the microwave 10-20 seconds. (If you store in a jar; never put a mason jar lid in the microwave).
- Slice all of your vegetables the same thickness so they all roast at the same time.
- I always serve this sandwich with a small side salad of Spring Greens and extra Homemade Balsamic Dressing.
- You can easily make this sandwich glutinous by buying a pack of normal rolls or crusty bread/baguette. That’s what I do for my fiancée.
Veggie Sandwich with Roasted Eggplant and Fresh Mozzarella
- 1 pack of gluten-free rolls or baguette - i used schar hamburger buns
- 1 red onion - sliced into coins
- 2 tomatoes - sliced into coins
- 1 eggplant - sliced into coins
- 1 red bell pepper - sliced
- 8 oz fresh ball of mozzarella cheese
- 3 tbsp olive oil - 2 for vegetables, 1 for drizzling on bread before toasting
- for the Homemade Balsamic Dressing:
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- salt & pepper to taste
- Slice eggplant into coins and place in a single layer on a cutting board. Salt vigorously. Let sit 10 minutes, rinse, flip on other side and salt again. Rinse after another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash and slice tomato, red onion, and red bell pepper. Arrange on a cookie sheet. Add eggplant to another cookie sheet. Drizzle both trays with 2 tbsp. olive oil. *Do not drench the eggplant with olive oil as it will soak in* Roast 25-30 minutes, or until tender and browned.
- Make Homemade Balsamic Dressing by adding all of the ingredients to a mason jar and shaking until well incorporated. You may have to stir to get the honey off of the bottom, and then shake again. Taste test with a piece of lettuce. Add another tbsp. of honey if too tart for your tastes.
- Remove veggie trays from oven and cover with foil. Slice bread long ways, brush with olive oil, flip it crust face up. Toast 3-5 minutes in oven. Remove, flip right-side up, and top with one or two slices of mozzarella per half of bread. Place back in oven 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melting a little bit down the sides. Remove from oven.
- Assemble sandwich; stack slices of each veggie on top of one another. We prefer to eat our sandwiches open-faced and with a fork and knife so we can pile on the roasted veggies. Serve with a sauce bowl filled with Homemade Balsamic Dressing and dip with each bite, or drizzle overtop. Pairs well with a side salad of Spring Greens & extra dressing.