Grilled Eggplant, Red Pepper, and Arugula Sandwich with Basil-Mint Pesto

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

This vegetarian sandwich is dressed with one of my favorite pestos, but you can use any pesto that you like. You did make some extra and store it in the freezer, didn’t you?


  • 1 large (about pounds) eggplant, stem end removed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, halved, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 thick, 3-inch-square pieces of focaccia, split in half
  • Basil-Mint Pesto
  • 1 cup lightly packed young arugula leaves, tough stems removed
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced on the bias
  • Reduced Balsamic Vinegar


Prepare a Charcoal fire or preheat a gas or stovetop grill or broiler. Slice the eggplant into eight ¼-inch-thick rounds, brush both sides of each slice with olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Lightly brush the peppers with olive oil. Grill or broil the eggplant and peppers on both sides until the eggplant is browned and cooked through and the peppers are softened and lightly charred. With the point of a knife, lightly scrape the peppers to remove any loose charred skin.

Spread focaccia halves liberally with pesto. Top the bottom slice of focaccia with grilled eggplant slices, peppers, arugula, cucumbers, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and drops of balsamic vinegar. Top with the remaining focaccia and serve.