Do people picnic after Labor Day?
Or is it one of those things, like wearing white in November, that will get me sneered at by every designer dog on the Upper East Side?
Maltipoo’s, goldmation’s, bea-tzu’s. None of them spare judgment.
(I’m sure their owners are scrutinizing as well.
But with all the facelifts on this side of the island…it’s a little hard to tell.
Botox and the ability to show emotion. Mutually exclusive.
Although whether that’s really the result of plastic surgery or a consequence of being a WASP…
…up for debate.)
Well, just in case you’re kept up at night wondering what your neighbor’s Pekalier really thinks about you, I’ve got you covered.
This is the ultimate Labor Day picnic sandwich.
Grilled rosemary-infused eggplant covered in melted cheese and a tomato jam so luscious that you’ll feel compelled to drink it straight out of the pan.
But…maybe save your white jeans for another meal.
I take no responsibility for slurping-induced tomato stains. Or the dry cleaning bill that will almost certainly accompany them.
Or the bills from your therapist when you can’t stop making this come November and the psychological trauma caused by the never-ending canine scrutiny you’ll undoubtedly be enduring becomes too much to handle.
Not to mention what your fellow bloggers will say about you when they realize that this is a Rachael Ray recipe. Oops.
Rachael was actually number thirteen on Gourmet Live’s list of Women Game-Changers in Food. Love her or hate her, you have to concede that she spurred women all over the US to get off their butts and into the kitchen. And, at least, unlike a certain other food network personality who disgusts me more than words can say…her dishes do not come exclusively from a box. And sometimes, they even taste good. In the case of this one. Really good.
To see some more Rachael recipes, check out these blogs:
Val – More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne – Eats Well With Others
Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan – The Spice Garden
Claudia – A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather – girlichef
Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette – Healthy Living
April – Abby Sweets
Katie – Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary – One Perfect Bite
Kathleen –Bake Away with Me
Viola – The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue – The View from Great Island
Barbara – Movable Feasts
Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds
Amy – Beloved Green
Jeanette – Healthy Living
Linda – Ciao Chow Linda
PS – I only kiss and tell on bad dates. And I’m not saying nothing.
Grilled Eggplant Subs with Fontina and Tomato Jam
Serves 4, adapted from Rachael Ray
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 lb tomatoes, chopped or a 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 large eggplant, cut into 16 slices
- salt and pepper
- 6 oz arugula
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
- 8 slices whole wheat Italian bread
- 4 oz fontina
- Pre-heat a grill pan to medium-high or a broiler to high. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and rosemary, turn off heat and let steep for 3 minutes.
- In a large skillet, combine 1 tbsp of the infused olive oil and the red onion over medium heat and cook until softened, 6-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, and vinegar. Lower the heat and cook until thickened, about 7 minutes.
- Brush half the eggplant slices with the infused olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil, flipping once, until tender – about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
- Toss the arugula and the basil together.
- On one slice of bread, layer 4 eggplant slices. Top with a handful of the arugula/basil mix, and one oz of sliced or grated fontina. Grill or broil to melt the cheese. Slather a second piece of bread with tomato jam and top the sandwich with it.