We invited dinner guests who had given up meat for Lent, so we enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches, broccoli cheese soupclassic salad and cranberry cake.  We had provolone tomato sandwiches and fried egg cheddar sandwiches. What I want to tell you about is the Eggplant Provolone Sandwich. I’ve become such a huge fan of eggplant. You will see more recipes in the coming weeks. I discovered that a lot of that salting and draining, and whatever it is that they do to eggplant before actually cooking with it, is often a huge waste of time. What I’ve described below works for me and tastes sweet and delicious.

Because I used a round loaf of sourdough bread, I sliced the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2″ slices. They fit nicely onto the bread that way. You could slice them into rounds if that’s what will fit your bread better. Slice the skin of each piece of eggplant every inch or so. [I did not want anyone to bite into their sandwich and pull out the entire eggplant piece because they couldn’t break the skin with their teeth.] Dip an eggplant slice into flour and then into an egg wash (2 eggs mixed with 2 Tbsp. water) and fry in olive oil on medium until well browned and cooked through. You will have to add more olive oil as you go through the batches. The eggplant should be tender when stuck with a fork. Drain on paper towels.

To assemble the sandwich, place sliced provolone cheese on bread slice, followed by eggplant, then provolone, then top bread slice, then butter. Place buttered side down on hot griddle, then butter top. Watch the bottom so it doesn’t burn. Provolone melts quite easily, so this should go quickly. Turn over to brown the other side. Remove from heat, cut in half, serve.