This is one seriously grown-up grilled cheese made with eggplant, melting cheese, and a generous sprinkling of chili flakes.
About the recipe
Leave it to my daughter Rani to come up with this creative grilled cheese sandwich for grown-ups. Because let’s be honest, what kid likes eggplant? Or for that matter the spicy kick of chili flakes? So yeah, this is definitely for those of you with a discerning adult palate 😊😋🍆.
Rani is a freshmen in college but with COVID and all of us trying to figure how to live with the big “C” we kept Rani home for the first semester until we could figure things out. Since she was home and loves to cook, she’s been making some cool lunch items. This eggplant grilled cheese is one of her creations.
Creamy eggplant and cheese
Rani loves eggplant! I don’t know how because I for one am not a huge fan but somehow she has developed a fondness for it 🍆. In one of her creative moods she decided to experiment with making an eggplant grilled cheese. Rani offered some for me to try and I must admit I reluctantly took a little bite. But you know what? It tasted outstanding! It was so good I asked her to make one for me too 😁.
In this sandwich the eggplant is cooked until it gets all tender and almost creamy, then fried onions are added and chili flakes and dried herbs for extra flavor. Of course lots of cheese goes in it too! It’s a grilled cheese after all. Here is a recipe for a not so ordinary grilled cheese courtesy of Rani. Enjoy!
Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich
recipe contributed by Rani
makes 2 sandwiches
1 Japanese eggplant cut into small chunks
1 small onion thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves cut into thin slices
Salt and pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
Chili flakes as much as your want
4 slices of sourdough bread
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, Gruyere, or white cheddar
Cook the veggies: In a frying pan warm 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and shallow fry until the onions are tender and slightly charred on the edges about 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook the eggplant until tender about 7-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Assemble the sandwich: Butter one side of 2 slices of bread. Place butter side down and evenly place the eggplant mixture on the bread. Top with cheese. Place the second slice butter side up over the cheese. Sprinkle the bread with chili flakes and thyme. Gently press down so the herbs stick to the butter.
Make the grilled cheese. Place the sandwich on a pan and warm the sandwich until the bread is golden in color. Flip to the other side and do the same. By now the cheese should be all melted. Take off the stove and serve warm.