Eggplant and Asiago Grilled Cheese

by Jenn on October 30, 2009

in Gluten Free,Vegetarian

Along with hot soup, grilled cheese is just one of those comfort foods that soothes the tummy as well as the soul on these chillier days.  We had just spent the morning raking up the yard, and needed something hearty and filling for lunch.  Since we happened to have a fantastic loaf of gluten free bread in the fridge that my husband picked up last time he went to our local natural foods store, all of a sudden grilled cheese was on both of our minds in a flash.

“OK, we have to make grilled cheese now, or I’m never going to get it out of my head today,” my husband told me.

I happened to remember seeing a baby eggplant and little green bell pepper in the fridge earlier (the very last one from our Charlie Brown-like plant out on the deck), and it all came together.  First, veggies were salted then sauteed in butter.  Wait, before that – get some GOOD bread.  If you are gluten free, don’t just settle for that frozen stuff in the back of the store – find someone who can make a really decent loaf, or make your own.  Good bread is really important when making grilled cheese.  Ok, tangent over, back to step one again.  Saute the veggies in a bit of butter.  And then more butter.  And just for good measure, a little more.  After all, everyone knows the secret to an awesome grilled cheese is of course not just the cheese, but also the butter.  And not the fake stuff either, you need to real stuff to get the right taste (not that we ever eat the fake stuff in our home anyways).

Then bread was sliced, coated in – yep, you guessed it – butter, and onto the pan it went with some sliced asiago.  A few minutes later, an awesome sandwich was born.  I didn’t go out all with many seasonings or spices, though I really wish I had a roasted tomato on hand to add to the eggplant and pepper.  But then, this didn’t need much.  The sauteed veggies added such a great flavor all on their own, and so I didn’t feel like the sandwich was lacking at all.  In fact, this grilled cheese was down right awesome!

Note – don’t even try counting the calories to this sandwich.  Just enjoy it.  My excuse is that we raked leaves all morning, that was tough work that allowed me to indulge in this cheesy buttery goodness called my lunch!


1 baby eggplant, sliced
1 small green bell pepper, sliced
4 tbs. butter
4 slices your favorite bread (regular or GF)
a little more butter
4 slices of asiago cheese

1. Salt the eggplant and let it hang out for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, heat up a decent sized pan and melt about 2 tbs. of butter. Then saute eggplant and bell pepper in the butter, gradually adding up to 2 tbs. more as the veggies soak up the butter in the pan.  Once browned and eggplant is tender, remove from heat and set aside.
2. Butter each bread slice and lay on your hot griddle – but not too hot – (I had the burner on med.) – if it is sticking or burning you need to turn the heat down a bit and maybe add, yep, just a little more butter haha. Add cheese on to the bread and let cheese melt a bit.  Then add next slice of bread onto the griddle, and add your sauteed veggies.  Next, top it all off with the cheesy bread slice cheese side down.  Wait a few minutes for the new bread slice to brown a bit, and then remove.
3. Slice and eat!



Lauren October 30, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Okay. This looks like the ultimate grilled cheese! Sounds like an awesome lunch =D.

Yudith October 30, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Hmmm, this looks incredible! 😉

Karine October 30, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Great healthy twist to grilled cheese! thanks for sharing :)

Barnaby Dorfman October 31, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Gorgeous photo, I love the depth of field and colors. What do you shoot with?

Jenn October 31, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Thanks so much, glad you liked the photo!!!

I use a Nikon D200, and this particular shot was taken with my 18-200mm lens. This was taken in aperture priority mode, f/5.0, 1/15 s exposure, 56 mm focal length, ISO 400 (cause I don’t get much light living in a forest!).

Valérie October 31, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Mmmmm… There’s nothing like a good grilled cheese. And hey, you shouldn’t feel bad about the butter: you were adding it to vegetables!

Frenchie October 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm

I love the meatiness that eggplant imparts to sandwiches, even though it’s not a meat it is hearty and an ideal choice in a vegetarian dish. I can’t wait to try this out.

Sara November 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm

warm sandwiches and soup, i can’t think of a time that doesnt sound good to me! This looks so gorgeous.

Amanda April 27, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Yum! Have you submitted this to the Grilled Cheese Academy yet?

andrea June 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm

E’ vero, non c’è cosa migliore in inverno del
genuino formaggio arrosto con pane casareccio.
saluti Andrea

Michelle @ Italian Mama Chef July 30, 2010 at 10:58 pm

This looks so good!! I am going to feature your blog next week on my Friday Favorites list. Great blog.

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