Balsamic-Roasted Eggplant and Arugula Sandwiches

August 11, 2016
6 Ratings
Photo by Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

A friend texted me a photo of a recipe from Ruth Reichl's My Kitchen Year for eggplant and arugula sandwiches. She said she was in the mood for something yummy and easy and different, and this was just that. I made the sandwiches immediately for dinner that night, then made them again the following evening—I can't stop making them. The timing perfect—we've been getting a lot of eggplant in our CSA—but, moreover, the method is just so simple, so undemanding. I know I'll be making these all fall. —Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 4 Japanese or baby eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 baguettes or 4 ciabatta rolls
  • Salted or unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 bunch arugula
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Slice eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick strips and lay strips on an oiled or parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet.
  2. Mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a dish. Brush vinegar-oil mixture across top of each slice of eggplant. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper over the top. Roast for about 10 minutes. Turn slices over, brush with oil mixture, season with salt and pepper, and roast for another 8 minutes or so. Cool.
  3. Cut baguettes lengthwise in half and spread each half generously with the softened butter.
  4. Place eggplant slices on the bread and top with arugula leaves. Close sandwiches and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kevin Stradinger
    Kevin Stradinger
  • Hollis Ramsey
    Hollis Ramsey
  • stacey
  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

18 Reviews

coolkattastic April 17, 2021
I’m eating this as I’m writing the review. The sandwich is to die for. It’s delicious, simple, and easy. This will become a sandwich staple and I can’t wait to try out different variations
sugoodsweets February 16, 2021
Wouldn't have given this recipe a second thought if it weren't for the reviews. So easy and delicious. Almost as addictive as bacon. You can supplement with any veg or cheese; I had spare tomato and feta.
Blanca C. December 23, 2019
I was very skeptical about this. Way too easy to be good.
Nope. It was delicious!!
I’m sure you can embellish it, but it’s good on its own.
I used spinach because I had no arugula on hand, so I can imagine I’d be even better with that little bite arugula gives.
It’s now been added to my rotation!
Melissa H. August 19, 2019
Good jumping off point, needs a bit more umph. Added goat cheese, fresh basil leaves, lemon juice and some extra olive oil, salt and pepper. Pesto, sun dried tomatoes, olives, prosciutto, all would be good flavorful additions.
Kevin S. April 18, 2019
A stellar sandwich, great when made as written and infinitely riffable. Dare I say genius?
Hollis R. June 7, 2018
i might make mine with olive salad (with drizzled oil on bread surfaces, rather than butter) and provolone added, to mimic my Salad Sandwich. perhaps anchovies, too ...
stacey March 8, 2018
Made this and added a smear of port salut cheese and fresh basil and served on toasted bahn mi bread. Delicious!! Thanks for the super easy and delicious way to prepare eggplant.
Claire G. January 3, 2017
I never knew the technique for roasting eggplant/making them taste like balsamic vinegar, but now I can make my favorite supreme sandwich which is the above but added to it is green basil pesto, prosciutto, fresh sliced tomato, sundried tomato, and fresh mozzarella, all covered in a balsamic vinaigrette reduction. WHOA. You won't be sorry you made that.
Alexandra S. January 3, 2017
That sounds amazing!
Melissa H. August 19, 2019
I was scrolling and my clumsy finger accidentally hit the flag inappropriate button. Tried to unflag but seemed unsuccessful. Super sorry.
BellaRasa October 4, 2016
As suggested, used goat cheese instead of butter.....DELICIOUS!
Alexandra S. October 4, 2016
Joan August 21, 2016
Thanks, Alexandra, these were amazing! I replaced the butter with softened goat cheese and dressed the arugula lightly with olive oil, balsamic and a little salt and pepper. We just finished them for lunch, but I am already craving more! So, so good!! As the seasons change, I have visions of replacing the eggplant with portobello mushroom, beets, roasted squash...the possibilities are endless. Your homemade rolls are the star here!
Alexandra S. August 22, 2016
So happy to hear this, Joan! Softened goat cheese sounds amazing, and yes re mushrooms, beets, squash! I have a bowl of beets getting all shriveled and wrinkly in my fridge ... maybe balsamic-roasted beet and goat cheese sandwiches are in my future?
Lynn D. August 17, 2016
I made this recipe exactly as written (except that I sliced my freshly picked large homegrown eggplant crosswise) and it was fabulous. I served it for dinner with some salmon and the next day used the leftover eggplant for a breakfast sandwich. It is so tempting to think about additions like garlic, anchovy, goat cheese or fresh tomato. They would probably be good but aren't necessary.
Alexandra S. August 17, 2016
I'm so happy to hear this, Lynn! I was thinking I should make a note that cutting the eggplant crosswise would work just as well ... easier to cut also. I agree about the additions, and I am sure they would all be delicious. I keep thinking about cheese, too :)
Hollis R. April 17, 2021
I can only get the Globe eggplants, so slicing crosswise fits my ciabatta buns perfectly! Right now I have an excess of a fair-to-middling Brie, so maybe use some to replace the butter. Plus, next week I’m getting 1 lb. of freshly foraged ramps (@ $19.99!), so …
Hollis R. April 17, 2021
Also getting 2 3-oz tubs of black truffle butter and 1 lb. organic chef’s mix mushrooms, all courtesy of dartagnan.com. Hmm …