When it comes to sandwiches, think beyond the deli counter. This sophisticated and delicious combination pairs beautifully with sourdough breads and makes a special picnic sandwich. For grilled sandwiches, spritz the outside of the bread with cooking spray before grilling or pan-frying.
Patsy Jamieson, Diane Temple
Red capsicum walnut sauce (see recipe below)
1 large eggplant, cut crosswise into 1-cm-thick slices
pinch salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 small slices sourdough bread, toasted, if desired
120g creamy goat cheese, cut into 1-cm-thick slices
80g rocket leaves
RED CAPSICUM WALNUT SAUCE
⅓ cup walnuts
1 tablespoon dry low-GI breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon dried oregano
pinch chilli flakes
270-g jar roasted red capsicums, drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
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Spritz both sides of eggplant slices with cooking spray and season with a little salt (if using) and pepper. Lightly oil the chargrill or grill rack by rubbing it with a piece of oil-soaked paper towel (use tongs to hold the paper towel when working over a hot grill). Grill eggplant until very tender and browned, 4 to 6 minutes per side.
Sauce: combine walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano and chilli in a food processor; process until walnuts are ground. Add roasted red capsicums and lemon juice; process until smooth. The spread will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of red capsicum walnut sauce over one side of each bread slice. Layer eggplant slices and goat cheese slices on 4 slices of bread. Top with rocket. Set the remaining bread slices on the sandwiches. Cut the sandwiches in half. The sandwiches will keep, wrapped in plastic wrap or foil, in the refrigerator or a cooler packed with ice packs for up to 1 day.