Potluck Parties: Meatless Monday Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches

EVENT: A Stormy Philharmonic in Central Park/Indoor Picnic
VENUE: Jackie’s Apartment, Gramercy
TYPE: Cultural Parkside Picnic, Turned Coffee Table Buffet
MENU: Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches with White Bean Spread and Chive Pesto; Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches; Pomodoro Fresco Pasta Salad; Wine & Cheese

One of my favorite summer evenings since moving back to the city post-college is when the New York Philharmonic takes the stage in Central Park. Last year, I picnicked on the grass with Stephanie and all her friends—a birthday to remember, especially when the sky opened up during the orchestra’s last aria, and dumped rain on all of us innocent, umbrella-less concert goers.

This year I planned on being more prepared for m-nature, packing a storm jacket and situating our party’s blanket close to an exit path, as to avoid the inevitable stampede out of the park. But weather.com decided to give us a break this year. Or, rather, ruin our plans before we had a chance to break out our blankets all together.

I had some last minute recipe testing to do for the book (white bean dip), and a few other random ingredients (roasted eggplant) to get rid of before leaving for the Vineyard, so concert or no concert, I was determined to track down some friends and force them to eat my food.

Luckily, my friend Jackie offered to have a group of us over to her apartment to picnic around the coffee table and listen to her mom’s Yo-Yo Ma CD. It wasn’t quite the same, what without the fear of being cited for an open container violation, but it was a pleasant evening nonetheless under Jackie’s exposed beams, drinking wine out of Dixie cups, feasting on strangely conceived eggplant sandwiches, and sitting on the grassless ground.

From my kitchen, picnicking under a painted white sky, to yours,



Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches with White Bean Spread and Chive Pesto
Makes about 5-6 sandwiches


2 medium eggplant, quartered and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 medium red onions, quartered and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chives (optional)
1 loaf fresh sourdough or country white bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 10)
1/2 cup chive or basil pesto
1 cup white bean spread (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggplant, onion, olive oil and salt. Toss until fully coated, and then turn out onto a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Shake the pan to make sure the vegetables lie flat and have the maximum possible surface area exposed.

Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. With a spatula, redistribute the vegetables so they brown on the opposite side, and return to the oven for another 10-20 minutes, until the vegetables are dark brown and caramelized.

Remove to a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and chives, if using. (Eggplant can be make up to 2 days in advance).

Lay 6 slices of bread on a work surface. Slather each with pesto, and divide the eggplant among the slices. Slather the remaining bread with the white bean spread, and top the sandwiches.

If traveling, wrap each individual sandwich in foil and take with you to your picnic.

White Bean Spread
Makes 2 cups
You can use the excess spread as a dip for crudites, or slather it on crusty bread and serve as a crostini.
One 15-ounce can cannelloni or white beans
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or thyme leaves (optional)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small food processor or blender, puree the beans, lemon juice, herbs (if using), garlic, olive oil and salt. Add another tablespoon of olive oil if the mixture is still coarse, and puree until smooth.

Posted in: Potluck Parties
  • Frankie

    Indoor picnics – great idea for winter! Must try this recipe.

  • http://kyoodled.blogspot.com Annie B (Kyoodled)

    Um….Yum. This. looks. fabulous.

  • Olivia Rae James

    Hope you’re loving your new apartment! This sounds so good.. as do all of your recipes… Can I come join your team?

  • quixotic

    i just want to eat this now, the picture are a fantastic addition to this!

  • Patricia_bradel

    That’s an excellent casual idea for entertaining vegetarians. I’m definitely trying this recipe…

  • http://www.bofads.com Bofa

    Looks delicious!!!

  • http://colerecreare.blogspot.com/ Holly W

    What a perfect recipe for the eggplant my garden is producing! I’ll definitely try it!

  • http://www.whenredmeansgo.com Annahbanana

    Holy guacamole that looks incredible!

  • http://www.psilovethis.blogspot.com Psilovethis

    I’m trying this tomorrow! Looks simply delicious. Thank you for sharing.

  • Morteza1983

    that is fantastic

  • http://www.thesmoothiesrecipes.com Icyqueen

    Wow! Your sandwich absolutely looks delicious

  • http://tespicegarden.blogspot.com Susanmillerlindquist

    I have been trying to keep to Meatless Mondays, also. This sandwich looks ‘killer’ …

  • A Fan

    Thank you for the wonderful recipes. I love looking for new styles of food. The pictures are great as well. Do you take them yourself?


  • http://www.SusanWilliamsDesigns.com SusanWilliamsDesigns

    This looks delicious. I happened across this blog and boy, am I glad that I did. Yummo!

  • chrissy

    congrats on getting Blog of Note… I am surprised u haven’t gotten it earlier!.

  • http://www.sw33tandsavory.blogspot.com Melissa

    These sandwiches sound amazing! Will have to try them this weekend! Also, your blog is absolutely charming! Subscribed :)

  • suncoastfoodie

    Your recipe sound delicious and I love your pics. I love how the eggplant replaces meat. Much lighter, an a healthier alternative to a satisfying sandwich. Thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    Oh my, that looks absolutely delicious. I love aubergines but, sometimes run out of ideas of what to do with them. Will definately be trying this next season!!

  • http://kannan.edublogs.org Kannan

    So nice!

  • Dquist2

    Today I stumbled across your blog and I must say I am certainly glad I did! What a beautifull done blog! The recipes! The pictures! Just wonderful!

  • http://www.holyokehome.com Holyoke Home

    That sounds SO delicious! I might serve it open faced with a cold side salad (maybe something with cous cous?)

    Congratulations on a well-deserved Blog of Note!

  • Jill_cooper1962

    Im not much of a cook but this recipe appeals a lot to me so I may have to go and get the ingredients, congratulations on getting to a blog of note, thats how I found you

  • http://twitter.com/salinatales Helena Jarikova

    Beautiful toasts… Yammy 😉

  • http://ammorgan.scentsy.us Ammorgan03

    That looks really good!

  • http://safestcandle.blogspot.com Ammorgan03

    Sorry I meant to use my blog address to respond! That looks really good!

  • http://gillian-traveltoeat.blogspot.com Gillian

    This sandwich looks great full of my favourite things

  • http://www.cookingworld.biz Pam @ Kitchen Cookware

    This is so great! I am glad I came by here on meatless monday! I have plenty of eggplant from garden and need new ideas to make eggplants dishes! This recipe is perfect to make for my extra eggplants.

  • dark angel

    Looks delicious!

  • tiina { sparkling ink }

    That look absolutely gorgeously delicious:) I need that for lunch. Now. A great post!

  • Romanticasianguy

    Okay I just ate, and now I’m hungry again! Gonna have to take a bite of the enticing pictures!

  • http://romanticasianguy.blogspot.com/ Romanticasianguy

    Okay I just ate, and now I’m hungry again! Gonna have to take a bite of the enticing pictures!

  • Lindsay

    Wow this looks really good.

  • Marianne

    Looks awesome!!!! What an amazing little sandwich … wouldn’t the Earl ( John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich), be surprised and envious???

  • Caitlyn

    I made these last night and they were delicious. Even a huge hit with my 2 year old nephew!

  • R N Bakker

    Looks great!

  • sandiegan

    This was delicious! I love the white bean spread for crackers and dips. Since hubby is Italian, I used 4 cloves of garlic instead of 1 – wow, what a kick! My son even loved the sandwich. I bought the concentrated tube of pesto (just add olive oil) so I can whip up a sandwich whenever we want one. Thanks for this recipe!

  • MJ

    We made these last night but used Pitas instead of bread, they seemed to be a better containment system

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Great idea MJ! Hope they were tastey!

  • Guest

    Oh man! I saw this yesterday and couldn’t wait to make it today. Just had it for lunch and it was amazing. Definitely a keeper.

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      So glad you liked them, Lili! They are a personal fave–jealous you had them
      for lunch!

  • Sj

    you didn’t salt the eggplant, right?  people always tell me you have to but this looks like it turned out well without

  • CC

    My favorite winter recipe!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      So glad to hear it!

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