veggie munch, onion jam

NOLAchef_veggie_munch_berenjena_sandwich_balsamic_onion_jam_buenos_airesYesterday was the first of many April feriados (holidays).  There are only 17 working days this month, so expect lots of store closings and weekend getaways.  

In the afternoon I was limited to the verduleria and corner chino for groceries which led to the creation of the veggie munch.  The veggie munch is a warm open-faced sandwich with roasted eggplant, peppers & onion jam.  Some leftover parmigiano reggiano and balsamic jazzed this baby up with very little effort.  The recipe makes enough for 4 and can be topped with a fried egg if you or your audience is feeling extra hungry.

Preheat oven to 400°F and begin with the onion jam.  While that’s cooking start to prep your veg.

Onion Jam  ::

  • 3 onion, red or white
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • fresh thyme
  • salt & pepper

Slice onions and place in cast-iron or other heavy bottom pot.  Add a good bit of olive oil and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes stirring every couple of minutes.  Throw on the lid and cook for 20 minutes untouched.  Add balsamic, fresh thyme, salt & pepper, return lid and cook for another 15.  Remove lid, reduce vinegar, check seasoning and kill the heat when they’re looking soft and gooey.

Veggie Munch ::

  • 2 eggplant, thinly sliced lengthwise with mandoline
  • 1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • garlic clove, smashed
  • parmigiano reggiano, crumbled or shaved
  • onion jam
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS creole (or dijon) mustard
  • olive oil
  • 4 slices of bread
  • salt & pepper

In a medium size mixing bowl combine balsamic, mustard, fresh cracked pepper, garlic clove, 3 TBS of olive oil and mix well.  Add sliced eggplant, peppers, and toss til coated.

Grab a baking sheet and lay out the eggplant.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle peppers over eggplant along with any extra balsamic marinade.  Toss in oven for 10 minutes.

Remove onions from cast iron, drizzle bread with olive oil and place in super hot cast iron.  Add a big spoonful of onion jam in the center and cook til bread is crispy and golden.  Transfer bread to a plate, add a few layers of eggplant, peppers, a crumble of parmigiano and finish with a touch of olive oil.  Serve with fork and knife and eat immediately.

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