Going hand in hand with the whole 'taking it easy' part of Christmas, I took a couple of days off work this week. On days when I'm not working, I love that I don't have to plan and make my lunches in advance, and so yesterday I took advantage of this by popping to the supermarket for a few random ingredients and experimenting to come up with what may now be my favourite sandwich EVER! Aubergine, roasted red pepper and mozzarella all go together so well and instead of butter, I used pesto to really make this sandwich something special - like something you'd order out of a deli. I loved it so much that I also figured out a way to turn it into a packed lunch (well, almost - a kind of cheat's packed lunch) which I'll explain after I've told you the main recipe.
|Deli-style sandwich - ignore the fact that the pepper looks like a tongue |
(thanks to David for pointing this out!)
Aubergine, Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella and Pesto Sandwich
Ingredients (per sandwich):
2 slices (sliced lengthwise) aubergine
1 ciabatta roll (or other fancy bread roll)
1 tbsp pesto
2-3 slices mozzarella
1/2 roasted red pepper (from a jar, unless you can be bothered roasting your own, which I never can - wash it under running water first to get ride of all the oil, then pat dry so it doesn't soak into the bread)
Pre-heat a griddle pan and place your aubergine strips onto it. Wait until the lines are charred into the under-side, then turn over and cook on the other side until also charred. Remove from the griddle pan. At this stage, you may like to chop the strips into smaller pieces, to make them more manageable to eat once they're in your sandwich (I find that, much as the whole strips look prettier, when I take a bite out of my sandwich, the whole strip can get dragged out, rather than just the bite I wanted to take!). Cut the roll in half and spread the pesto over the bottom half. Layer all remaining ingredients on top - aubergine, then mozzarella, then red pepper. Close the roll and there you have it - the perfect sandwich!
Packed lunch method:
If you want to make the filling ahead of time, simply place the aubergine (definitely chop it into smaller pieces, in this case), mozzarella, red pepper and pesto into a small plastic tub and mix together. To get the full deli effect, if you work close enough to a supermarket or bakery where you can buy a fresh bread roll at lunchtime, buy the roll just before you prepare your sandwich. Ok, so you still have to pop out to buy it, but you only spend 30-50p as opposed to £3-£5 on a full deli sandwich. If you don't have the option of popping out to buy a fresh roll, I would suggest taking a roll with you and only assembling the sandwich right before you eat it, rather than putting the filling on at home and allowing it to soak into the bread. This way, you still feel like you're eating a fresh sandwich rather than a crushed lump out of the fridge.
If you try making this, please let me know what you think. What other deli-style sandwiches have you made DIY versions of? I'd love to hear your ideas!