Aubergine Stacked Sandwich

Simon Rimmer's mouth-watering mozzarella and aubergine stacks are bursting with Mediterranean flavours and make a sensational starter or light lunch
By Simon Rimmer
Aubergine Stacked Sandwich
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 500 g basil
  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 100 g toasted pine kernels
  • 150 g sun-blushed tomatoes, chopped
  • 150 g parmesan, finely grated
  • black pepper

For the stacks:

  • 3 good-sized aubergines
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 ciabatta bread, cut into slices 3mm thick
  • 250 g beefsteak tomatoes, skinned
  • 300 g buffalo mozzarella

To serve:

  • handful of rocket
  • 1 tbsp sun-blushed tomatoes, chopped

Method

1. To make the pesto, place the basil into a blender and blitz with enough olive oil to form a smooth paste.

2. Add the garlic, pine nuts, tomatoes, and Parmesan to the mixer and blitz again. Add the remaining oil to make a rich, thick sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep cool.

3. Slice the aubergines into discs about 10mm thick. Season well and toss in 50ml of the olive oil. Cook in a griddle pan over a high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, until both sides are marked with lines. Repeat with the Ciabatta, cooking for just a minute or so on each side.

4. Slice the beef tomatoes and the mozzarella.

5. To assemble, brush a little oil around the inside of 4 metal rings and sit them on an oiled baking sheet. Set the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

6. Press some aubergine into the bottom of each ring to form a solid base.

7. Add a slice of tomato and a spoonful of pesto, followed by a piece of bread. Drizzle this with a little olive oil and then place a slice of mozzarella on top. Repeat the layers, finishing with mozzarella and add a final drizzle of olive oil. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until heated through. Sit the ring on a plate, run a knife around the rim and pull off the ring. Serve immediately.

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