Open-faced Eggplant Parm Sandwich

This flavorful sandwich uses the best produce Summer has to offer and it's a snap to put together. You'll have leftover tomato sauce from this recipe; it's great on pasta, mixed grilled veggies or a piece of grilled chicken. This recipe makes two sandwiches.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 20 minutes

For the tomato sauce:
2 pounds summer-ripe tomatoes, chopped (we used Heirlooms)
1/2 red or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable stock or dry white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste

Remaining sandwich ingredients:
2 slices good-quality French or Sourdough bread
1 small eggplant, cut cross-wise into 1/2 rounds (try an Asian variety)
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
Nonstick cooking spray
Fresh chopped Italian basil leaves, for garnish

Make the tomato sauce: Heat a skillet to medium and add oil. Sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes, until they become fragrant and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add stock or wine to pan, making sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Let the liquid reduce by about a third and add tomatoes. Stir gently and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange eggplant slices on the sheet in a single layer. Spray the tops of the eggplant with cooking spray and season with salt. Roast for 5-7 minutes, until eggplant is fork-tender. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before assembling the sandwiches. Leave your oven on.

To assemble the sandwiches, place bread slices on a work surface and arrange eggplant slices, a scoop of of tomato sauce and cheese on bread, distributing evenly among both bread slices. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling. Remove sandwiches from heat and serve.