Grilled Cheese with Eggplant and Ricotta

5.0
(1)

Last weekend we went to visit my mother in Bemus Point. She had me try this new brand of ricotta cheese that she bought. It was so good, I just wanted to drizzle some honey on it and I could have eaten the whole tub. She bought one for me to bring home and I wondered, hmmm... what can I do with this. Well, I decided to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course eggplant goes great with ricotta so why not make grilled cheese with eggplant. And if I am going with this Italian theme, bring on the fontina!

1
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Italian bread

  • 2 medium tomatoes

  • 1 large eggplant

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese

  • 8 leaves fresh basil

  • 16 slices fontina cheese

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, or to taste

Directions

  1. Slice Italian bread info 8 thick slices. Slice each tomato into 4 slices.

  2. Remove some of the skin from the eggplant, leaving the rest of the skin on for a striped look. Slice the eggplant into eight 1/2-inch rounds.

  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season eggplant with salt and pepper; cook until soft, about 5 minutes per side. Watch that it does not burn. Remove to a plate and set aside.

  4. Spread ricotta over 4 slices of bread. Top each with 2 eggplant slices and 2 tomato slices. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Tear 2 basil leaves over each sandwich. Add 4 slices of fontina cheese. Spread butter over the remaining slices of bread and place over the cheese, buttered sides up.

  5. Melt remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sandwiches to the skillet with the dry side down. Cover with a piece of foil and place a heavy pan on top. Toast sandwiches for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip over and cover again. Cook until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Cook's Notes:

I use a cast iron skillet on top to really push them down. If you don't have a heavy pan, use any frying pan with a can of tomato sauce or something inside it for weight.

Place on a plate or cutting board and cut in half with a serrated knife so that people can see all the gooey goodness inside. How can anyone resist a grilled cheese sandwich?

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

1108 Calories
55g Fat
101g Carbs
53g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 1108
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 55g 71%
Saturated Fat 30g 151%
Cholesterol 165mg 55%
Sodium 2007mg 87%
Total Carbohydrate 101g 37%
Dietary Fiber 11g 39%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 53g
Vitamin C 12mg 59%
Calcium 935mg 72%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 871mg 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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