Thursday, October 27, 2011

Openface Eggplant Melts with White Bean Salad

After watching a cooking show where the host made tuna melts, I had a hankering for something similar. I once made an eggplant tapenade and remembered thinking it would taste great on a sandwich so I knew it would be a perfect topping for my openface melt.

Smokey charred eggplant, sweet onion, fresh parsley and thyme make a hearty and chunky spread perfect for topping with vegan cheese. A little celery adds a much wanted crunch similar to textures you would find in traditional tuna melts.

Openface Eggplant Melts
1 large eggplant, peeled, medium dice (about 3 cups)
1/2 yellow onion, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 celery stalk, minced
3 tbl fresh chopped parsley
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
thick sliced wheat bread
vegan mozzarella cheese, such as daiya
nutritional yeast, for sprinkling, optional

Preheat the oven to 425. Lay the eggplant, onion and garlic in a single layer and red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and oil. Toss and roast for 25-30 minutes until lightly charred.
Transfer to a food processor and pulse 5 times or so just enough to break up the eggplant and onion into a chunky spread.
Transfer to a bowl and add the celery, parsley and thyme. Taste and season with more salt and pepper.
Change the oven temperature to broil. Top one piece of bread with a heaping scoop of eggplant and sprinkle with cheese. Place under the broiler just long enough for the bread to toast and the cheese to melt. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and serve.

White Bean Salad
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
1-15oz great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbl fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Saute the onions and bell pepper in oil over medium-high heat until soft and translucent, 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the beans and cook 5 minutes more to heat through. Toss with thyme and parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.

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