Steve's favorite plane sandwich
6 (1/4-inch-thick) slices eggplant with peel left on
Olive oil or vegetable oil, for spraying
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
1 baguette or Italian bread about 9 inches long, cut almost in half lengthwise, opened like a book and
scooped (see NOTE)
2 slices low-fat provolone cheese
2 pieces roasted red pepper from a jar, drained well and patted dry with paper towels
8 fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup loose-packed arugula
To make eggplant: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with oil. Season with Italian herbs, salt and pepper. Roast 15 to 20 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
To make sandwich: Open bread flat on a work surface. Layer with the cheese, eggplant, peppers and basil. Then sprinkle with the oil and vinegar. Add arugula as close to serving as possible. Makes 1 sandwich.
Nutritional information per sandwich: 517 calories, 35 percent calories from fat, 20 grams total fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 66 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams total fiber, 17 grams total sugars, 55 grams net carbs, 23 grams protein, 708 milligrams sodium.
Chef Steve's tip: You can make the eggplant up to two days before assembling the sandwich. Instead of roasting it, you can spray thin slices of eggplant with oil, season them and then cook them in a grill pan over medium heat. I make the sandwich late the evening before I leave, adding the oil and vinegar to soak into the bread. The next morning before I leave I add arugula and wrap it all in foil for travel.