Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Graceland" Eggplant Panini

Oozing, cheesy goodness!
Today was Book Club Sunday which means lovely ladies, wonderful conversation & a meetup at the local diner. I ALWAYS seem to get breakfast & the same thing for these days. Curious enough though, when I get diner at other times, I crave what is listed on the menu as the "Graceland" sandwich. I don't know why it's called that as it has nothing to do with peanut butter & bananas grilled (Elvis' purportedly favorite sandwich) at all. It's actually grilled- coated eggplant, roasted red peppers & mozzarella & it comes "drippingly" greasy &  delicious with a side of fries. YUM. So since I get breakfast for book club, I thought why not recreate the Graceland at home, for dinner?

Mine begins with the eggplant: 

Eggplant Panini
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup Bread crumbs
  • Approximately 3 TBSp Olive Oil
  • Italian Sub Rolls or full Italian Bread, sliced into sandwich sizes
  • 1 Jar of Roasted, Sweet Red Peppers or 1 Fresh Red Pepper, Roasted
  • Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • Fresh Basil
  • Approximately 2-3 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Approximately 2-3 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Clean, peel, & slice the eggplant length-wise. Set up a mis en place: Whisked egg in one shallow bowl, Bread Crumbs in another. Heat the 3 TBSp Olive Oil in a saute pan on medium-high heat. Dip the eggplant slice first in the egg then coat the slices with bread crumbs & place in the saute pan. Cook until it is golden, about 2-3 minutes each side. Allow to cool on a paper towel lined plate.
After the eggplant is bread & cooked, assemble the sandwiches... Bread, eggplant, peppers, mozzarella slices, basil leaves (I leave them whole) & finally the splashes of extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar. 
Close the assembled sandwich & cook it either on a panini maker OR on a grill pan with a weight on the sandwich (another pan or heavy plate) until the mozzarella is melted. 


Here is the diner's Graceland:
Photo Courtesy of Stacey :)
*Lishie tip- "Panini" simply means "pressed" in the U.S. but in Italy, it means a sandwich customarily made out of a small loaf of bread, pane.

BTW, the month's Book Club read, which I highly recommend, was:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fascinating story. It's non-fiction & 3/4 of the way through, I got slightly bored with the scientific part (although, written for the layman, me, to understand & it was indeed comprehendible). I wanted more of Deborah than of the actual HeLa cell history but am in awe of what the Lacks family went through. It terrifies me how little we've seemingly come from the '50s too, in many aspects, when Henrietta's cells were taken from her. Makes me wonder what my doctor does with my "bewildering" crohns saga & records.

View all my reviews


  1. Yours looks better! Mmmm, basil was a good addition choice! :)

  2. I would LOVE this!!! Thanks!

  3. Thank you all!

    Stacey- Michael said the same thing!