Tomato & Grilled Eggplant Stacked Sandwich

In Healthy Dinner Recipes/ Recipes

This Mediterranean tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich is a fresh, delicious vegetarian sandwich that’s quick and easy to make!

Tomato & Grilled Eggplant Stacked Sandwich | A Couple Cooks

This post was created in partnership with Village Farms. All opinions are our own.

It’s summer, you’re busy, and it’s hot, right? These times call for simple to prepare summer fare, which is where this stacked sandwich comes in! This tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich is the first recipe that we’re sharing inspired by our summer vacation to the Mediterranean, and it tastes just like our travels. Many times during the day, we’d grab a sandwich from an Italian or Spanish sandwich shop. Especially in Italy, there were lots of tomatoes and eggplant sandwiches. We created our stacked sandwich especially for Village Farms and it features their juicy Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes alongside smoky grilled eggplant, creamy fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, and our secret ingredient: olive spread. A stacked sandwich looks impressive without the fuss, which makes it a great option for concerts in the park and beach blanket picnics. Don’t forget the wine (or the frosé)! Keep reading for the recipe.

Eggplant Sandwiches | A Couple Cooks

Tomato & Eggplant Sandwich | A Couple Cooks

How to make vegetarian sandwiches

Even with something as simple as a sandwich, it can become complex the more components you add. Since we wanted these vegetarian sandwiches to be as easy as possible, we chose each component carefully. A stacked sandwich can’t just look good: it’s got to taste amazing, too! The key is in the ingredient quality: do not skimp on this one. Here are the secrets on how to make our stacked sandwich:

  • Ripe tomatoes: In this recipe we’re highlighting greenhouse grown Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes. These are hydroponic tomatoes grown in a way that’s gentle on the Earth and it makes a flavor that’s truly garden fresh (Alex and I are consistently impressed by the flavor of Village Farms!). The Campari tomato is cocktail-sized, basically a large cherry tomato.
  • Grilled eggplant: We used a grill to grill up our eggplant, but you can also use a grill pan or even bake it.
  • Basil pesto: What is summer without pesto? For quick prep we used a purchased pesto, but you can make it at home too.
  • Olive spread (tapenade): The “secret” ingredient here is olive spread, also called tapenade. You should be able to find several varieties of olive spread of tapenade at your local grocery. If not, we have a killer recipe for homemade Kalamata Olive Tapenade.
  • Good bread: Here we used what our grocery store called an artisan hoagie; you can really use any type of bread. Just make sure it’s high quality!
For a low carb version of this stacked sandwich: forgo the bread and use the grilled eggplant as the stacking base, which makes a great presentation over greens as well.
Tomato & Eggplant Sandwich | A Couple Cooks

Tips for grilling vegetables

We love throwing summer vegetables on the grill, even tomatoes (including these). Writing a recipe for grilled vegetables is tricky because it depends on their thickness and each grill’s specific model and temperature. The most important thing is to pay attention: cook the vegetables until they are tender but not so soft that they fall apart. We like to use medium to medium high heat depending on the vegetable. Grilling vegetables can take anywhere from 8 to 25 minutes, depending on the vegetable. Grill pans can be useful for smaller cut vegetables so they don’t fall through the grates.

Tomato & Eggplant Vegetarian Sandwiches | A Couple Cooks

Looking for more vegetarian sandwich recipes?

Outside of this tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich, are a few other vegan and vegetarian sandwich recipes from A Couple Cooks:

Eggplant Sandwiches | A Couple Cooks

Check out Village Farms

Check out our tomato grilled eggplant stacked sandwich over on the Village Farms website:

This recipe is…

This tomato & grilled eggplant stacked sandwich is vegetarian and refined sugar free. For gluten free, use gluten free bread. For vegan, you could try without the mozzarella, but we might sub in hummus to bring in a salty, savory component. Let us know what you try in the comments below!

Tomato & Eggplant Sandwich | A Couple Cooks

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Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacked Sandwiches | A Couple Cooks

Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacked Sandwich


1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Description

This Mediterranean tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich is a fresh, delicious vegetarian sandwich that’s quick and easy to make!


Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes
  • 2 medium eggplants, about 1 pound each
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (purchased or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup olive spread or tapenade (purchased or homemade Kalamata Olive Spread)
  • 4 artisan hoagies (or 8 pieces of bread)
  • Basil leaves, for the garnish (optional)

Instructions

Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean. 

Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices. Brush each side with olive oil. Sprinkle the tops with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the grill), turning halfway through, until tender and grill marks form. (Alternatively, you can use a grill pan on the stovetop: heat the pan and grill the eggplant slices until they are tender and grill marks form. Or, you can bake it using this method.)

If desired, toast the bread in the remaining minutes on the grill.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes. Tear the mozzarella into pieces.

Assemble the sandwiches: Spread pesto on the cut side of one piece of bread, and olive spread on the cut side of the other bread. Place grilled eggplant on the bread, and top with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and basil, if using. Top with the other bread slice. If desired, wrap in aluminum foil to help contain the mess when eating!

Make ahead: The sandwiches can be made a few hours in advance for picnics. If doing so, you may want to slice the tomatoes and let them sit on a cutting board for several minutes to drain excess liquid.

Keywords: Stacked Sandwich, Eggplant Recipes, Tomato Recipes, Eggplant, Tomato, Mozzarella Recipes, Pesto, Pesto Recipes, Olive Spread, Tapanade, Mediterranean, Vegetarian Sandwich, Vegetarian, Summer Sandwich, Picnic Sandwich, Healthy, Meal Prep

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.

8 Comments

  • Reply
    bella
    August 16, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I absolutely love grilled eggplant on sandwiches! These look SO delicious, I wish I had one in front of me right now!

  • Reply
    Alanna Taylor-Tobin
    August 16, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Finding a good veggie sandwich can be so challenging. Can’t wait to make these (and all the others you listed too!)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 30, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      Agree, they are deceptively challenging!

  • Reply
    Christiann Koepke
    August 17, 2018 at 12:48 am

    This looks soooo good!!! -CK

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 30, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Ginger by Choice I food & lifestyle blog
    August 27, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Your tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich sounds fantastico! I used to make tapenade all the time when I was 16 (we used to travel to Italy a lot ;) but totally forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me!

    Do you think this is a good sandwich to take on the plane? I cannot eat the food they serve in there (my stomach goes crazy over that horrible food) so it’s always good to have an alternative which is savory, delicious and easy to eat.

    Cannot wait to try this, especially the tapenade,
    Eva

    Ginger by Choice I food & lifestyle blog
    http://www.gingerbychoice.de/en/

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 27, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Haha you are so welcome! You could absolutely take this on a plane! I would probably slice the tomatoes and let them drain for a bit on the cutting board before adding them to the sandwich — they do add extra moisture! I think it would definitely work, especially if you wrap it in foil! Good luck!

  • Reply
    Claudia | The Brick Kitchen
    September 4, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Beautiful layers!!! I was in Florence this summer and had an epic stacked focaccia like this – so beautiful and definitely doable at home. Love the pesto and olives that you used!

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