Now this, my friends, is the big daddy of the sandwiches I’ll be making, or have made, this week. The others were good and I enjoyed them a lot, but they weren’t anything compared to the size and complexity of what I’ll share below. This is the one you’ll want to make.
This recipe comes in two parts. First is the olive tapenade and the second is the rest of the sandwich. The olive tapenade is a recipe unto itself, but I decided to just add it here. If I ever feel the need to separate it out later on, I’ll write another post for it. Regarding the sandwich, this thing is huge. It requires a full loaf of Italian bread, an entire eggplant, roasted red peppers, fresh chard, artichoke hearts and provolone. There are a few more ingredients, but I’ll list them below. I’d say the sandwich focuses on flavor nuances. There’s a lot of flavor in it and while many areas can stand on their own, they’re simply fantastic when combined.
Makes: 1 Full Loaf Sandwich (Serves 4)
For the Olive Tapenade
2 1/2 Cups Mixed Green, Black, Kalamata Olives
2 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Capers, Drained
2 Tablespoons Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil, Drained
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
For the Sandwich
1 Jar Roasted Red Peppers, Sliced
1 Large Eggplant
1 Large Loaf Italian Bread
3 Tablespoons Pepperoncini, Minced
1 Can Artichoke Heart Quarters, Drained
4 Large Chard Leaves, Trimmed From Stem
3 Slices Provolone Cheese
Ground Black Pepper
Regular Olive Oil
I’d like to thank Vanilla and Bean for this recipe. They did a great job laying out the instructions and their post was chock full of really nice photos, so thank you!
Arrange one of your oven racks so it’s in the center position and the other one is above that. Then, pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare the Tapenade
Add all of the tapenade ingredients from above to a food processor.
Pulse the processor a few times to break down the ingredients. A word of warning here; the more you process the ingredients, the smoother your result will be. Since I wanted things to be more coarse, I only pulsed the processor about five times. You can make this any way you wish though. Here’s the result I got after processing.
When it’s finished, transfer the tapenade from the food processor to a medium sized bowl.
Set the bowl aside for later use.
Roast the Eggplant
Trim the ends from the eggplant. Then, cut it lengthwise in 1/4 inch slices. Add about one tablespoon of olive oil to a large baking sheet and spread that oil out liberally. Then, place each slice of eggplant on the tray. Finally, sprinkle some salt lightly across the surfaces of the eggplant and let them sit for 15 minutes.
When the oven is warmed to temperature, place the baking sheet on the center rack for about ten minutes. Then, remove the tray from the oven, flip the eggplant slices and let them roast for another ten minutes. After the slices have softened and thinned slightly, remove the tray from the oven and turn off the heat.
Toast the Loaf
Cut the loaf of Italian bread lengthwise. Then, dig out a good portion of the white interior from both sides so the loaf is somewhat hollowed out. After that, place the pieces of bread on the top rack in the oven for about two minutes or so. Just long enough to give the bread some light crunch. You can do this while the eggplant is roasting. That’s why I suggested you keep both racks in the oven.
Assemble the Sandwich
Divide the tapenade between the two pieces of toasted bread and spread it out over both interior surfaces. Then, stack the ingredients on the bottom piece of bread in this order: half of the eggplant slices, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper slices, the remaining eggplant, some salt and pepper to taste, the minced pepperoncini, the fresh chard and finally, the slices of provolone. When finished, place the top piece of bread over everything and press it down firmly with your hands.
Slice the giant sandwich any way you’d like and serve. Enjoy!
The Final Eggplant & Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sandwich
I told you this one was a monster. We ate part of this last night for dinner and I have to tell you that I was quite pleased with myself. This is a good one that I’ll be making again in the future. If you decide to give this sandwich a try, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below. Thanks for reading!