the weird thing is that i'm a sandwich girl and there isn't a single sandwich recipe on here. well, here we're gonna fix that.
this is a sandwich for my mother in two ways. in the first, she loves broccoli rabe more than anyone else i know and so when I came home with a shopping bag packed full of free broccoli rabe, i immediately started reaching for recipes that might eek a smile out of her.
and she loves, loves, loves grilled eggplant sandwiches. (rightfully so). a long time ago, in my hometown of grand rapids, there once lived a grilled eggplant sandwich called the linda flo. whenever marie catrib's still runs specials on it, she'll rearrange her day to snag one of the plates, packed full of garlicky aioli, tomatoes, cheese, and spinach.
this isn't that sandwich. but it's like that sandwich. it's pungent with balsamic and packed with bitter greens and melted cheese, all piled on top of a slice of crusty, toasted bread. i've eaten it three days in a row, the long strings of melted cheese sticking to my chin and my shirt (i should really do laundry soon).
and this is also, a little bit, something for me. for when i miss my hometown.
1 slice of bread, toasted
2 thick slices eggplant
canola oil, as needed
1/2 cup broccoli rabe (also called rapini)
1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
1 slice jarlsberg or baby swiss cheese
1 slice proscuitto
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp mayo
salt and pepper
heat canola in a medium saute pan over med-high heat. add onions and reduce to medium low. cook for 30-35 minutes or until browned and rich in color. remove and reserve. add broccoli rabe and saute 2-3 minutes, until wilted and bright green. season with salt and pepper. set aside.
brush the eggplant on either side with canola oil. get a grill or grill pan smoking hot and lay the eggplant on it. cook 2-3 min on either side, until soft to the touch and dark grill marks have formed. remove from pan.
layer bread with mayo, balsamic, and swiss cheese. add proscuitto, then onion, eggplant, and top with broccoli rabe. broil to soften cheese if desired. consume with glee.