Caramelized eggplant makes for a sweet delicious filling in this crisp, cheesy Eggplant Panini.
A reminder to myself:
Your children are young, but will not always be so. I know it feels that way. This is the only way you’ve ever known them. They came out small(ish) and even though you sometimes catch a glimpse of them looking like a tiny teenager with their long, skinny legs dangled over the arm of the chair, they are still relatively small.
You only have 13-18 years before they decide they are grown up enough to figure things out without you. They will stop waking you in the night, sitting in your lap for stories, and peeing on all the things. From there you will have (hopefully) another 20-40 years of knowing your children as adults, peers, and friends. You’ve been alive for almost 30 years. You know some people who used to be babies that are now grown ups. This magic really happens!
You are not a prisoner with a life sentence – you are part of a family. You are not being held hostage, you’re being held. Your life is filling up with family and a future and one of these days you will rise from the fog of infancy and your eyes will adjust to the light radiating from these tiny souls.
Don’t feel bad when people tell you to cherish these years and all you want to do is get through them. Those are probably the same people who thought high school was the greatest time of your life. The future can always be sweeter.
How do we transition to eggplant panini? Just do it.
I’m absolutely in love with soft, brown, caramelized eggplant. Stick it in some crispy bread with melty cheese and we’re totally onto something. I cut most of the skin off my eggplant because it usually comes off anyways, but you can skip this step and just get right to broiling if you’d like.
I’m also totally in love with my Griddler, but you can definitely use a regular skillet or griddle (some flipping required).
What are you reminding yourself as you parent today?
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread,, cut into four equal sections and sliced open horizontally
- 1 medium eggplant
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 1 medium tomato,, thinly sliced
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- Preheat your oven's broiler to high and place an oven rack in the highest position. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Preheat a griddle or panini press on high.
- Slice eggplant into 1/2" thick disks, discarding the ends. Brush each side of the eggplant lightly with olive oil and place on the prepared baking sheet. Broil until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes per side.
- On a clean work surface, lay out the four bottom pieces of ciabatta. Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto onto each sandwich. Top with a slice of cheese, followed by tomato, eggplant, and another slice of cheese. Cover with the top half of the bread. Brush both sides of the sandwich with olive oil. Cook sandwiches in the panini press until crisp and melty, about 8 minutes. Slice in half and serve with giardiniera, chips, or fruit.