Eggplant Muffuletta & A Cookbook @Giveaway – #SeriousSandwich

I’m not a huge eggplant fan, but hey, you might be!  So I’m sharing Emeril’s recipe for Eggplant Muffuletta.  I’ve heard through the grapevine that the eggplant lovers give it 2 thumbs up!  BAM!

I have definitely enjoyed cooking out of Emeril’s new cookbook (it just came out last Tuesday) and I bet you’d love to have 352 pages of sanwichy deliciousness, so what do you say?  Should I give away a copy?  Ok, duh, of course I’m going to give it away.  Emeril wants me to.

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CONTEST HAS ENDED!  See who won: here

Let’s make some muffuletta!!

Emeril

Yield: 4 Sandwiches

This is no ordinary muffuletta. Made with oven-roasted eggplant slices instead of salami, a homemade New Orleans–style olive salad, and a fresh basil spread, this muffuletta tastes so good you’ll never even miss the meat! If you aren’t up to making the olive salad yourself, it’ll still be enjoyable with one from the store.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1K pounds), trimmed and cut into K-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf seeded Italian bread
  • Basil Spread (page 318)
  • 2 cups New Orleans–Style Olive Salad (recipe follows)
  • 4 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces sliced provolone cheese

Instructions

  1. Position an oven rack as close to the broiler unit as possible, and preheat the broiler.
  2. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on two lightly greased baking sheets. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of the slices with the olive oil. Season both sides with the salt and pepper. Broil the eggplant, in batches, until the slices are tender and lightly browned and have released most of their moisture, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and move the oven rack to the center position.
  4. When you are ready to assemble the sandwiches, slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally. Using a pastry brush, spread the bottom half with a generous amount of Basil Spread.
  5. Spread the olive salad (with its olive oil—do not strain) over the top half of the loaf. Layer the sliced mozzarella and provolone on top of the olive salad, and then layer the slices of eggplant. Place the bottom half of the sandwich on top and lightly press. Quickly and carefully turn the loaf over so that the olive salad side is on top.
  6. Place the muffuletta on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake until the cheese has melted, the muffuletta is heated through, and the bread is slightly crisp, about 12 minutes.
  7. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully transfer the loaf to a cutting board. Press lightly, and cut the loaf into 4 sections. Serve immediately.
  8. Basil Spread:
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  10. 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  11. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  12. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  13. In a food processor or blender, process the garlic and basil on high speed while adding the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue to process until well blended. Season with the salt. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  14. New Orleans-Style Olive Salad:
  15. 1 quart large pimento-stuffed green olives, drained & rough chopped
  16. 1 1/2 cups large Greek black olives, drained, pitted and halved
  17. 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  18. 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  19. 1 cup pickled cauliflower, drained
  20. 3 to 4 ribs celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  21. 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  22. 1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained & halved
  23. 1/3 cup cocktail onions, drained
  24. 1/4 cup nonpareil capers, drained
  25. 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  26. 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence or Creole Seasoning
  27. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  28. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  29. 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  30. 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  31. Combine all ingredients in a large nonreactive bowl and mix well. Place in a large nonreactive jar (preferably glass) and store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. The salad should be made 24 hours before using and only improves with age. You can keep it for up to 2 months in the refrigerator
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