Brinjal, Aubergine, Eggplant…they are all the same vegetable :-).
Here in South Africa we generally use the word Brinjal. I believe that the word, Aubergine is used in Britain and in the States, the word Eggplant is used. It has always intrigued me that the same vegetable can have numerous names depending on which country one lives in….why is that???
Well, no matter which word you use or prefer, this is the ultimate vegetarian grilled sandwich !!!
The original recipe came from a Your Family magazine, which I cut out years ago and put into my recipe file. Desperately wanting something vegetarian to braai (barbecue), and knowing that the combination of brinjal (aubergine or eggplant), tomato, mozzarella and basil just all compliment each other so well, this was a no brainer. I had to try it. I have changed the actual quantities slightly, and found this to be necessary due to the size of the various vegetables.
Ideally, these are perfect if you are ‘braai-ing’ (another South African word) or ‘barbecuing’ as a no meat alternative. They are actually so delicious, even the typical meat and potato man would love them !
I am all for trying out different foods and with the warmer weather approaching us, I am keen to get some new ideas for when we braai (or barbecue).
Just for interest, I have attempted these on the stove, and it works, but it’s just so messy with oil splattering all over the show, and then you need to squash them down, as they are quite chunky, in order to make them in a sandwich form…..hmmmm not really worth it….Braai-ing (or barbecuing) is the way to go and all you need is one of those grill goodies (braai grid), and then it works like a dream :-).
These healthy little babies are a winner, there is no doubt, and I love the added touch of baby marrow (zucchini). So, this super easy recipe is definitely going to stay.
Grilled Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant) Sandwich
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 – 30 minutes
Total time: 35 – 40 minutes
Makes 6 sandwiches
1 x large brinjal (aubergine or eggplant)
2 x medium-sized tomatoes
1 x block of mozzarella cheese, approximately 400 grams
a handful of fresh basil leaves
4 – 5 baby marrows (depending on size)
Freshly ground salt and pepper
Olive oil for basting
Ideally arrange a ‘braai grid’ for the braai or barbecue.
Prepare the braai (barbecue).
Slice the top and bottom off from the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant).
Then, at 1 centimeter intervals, slice the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) into discs.
Lay these discs on a board.
Then, slice the tomatoes at approximately 1 centimeter intervals as well.
Place a slice of tomato onto half of the brinjals (aubergine or eggplant). The other half will be used later to top and finish off the sandwich, so don’t stress.
Top the tomato with a healthy slice/s of mozzarella cheese. I also cut the cheese into approximately 1 centimeter slices.
Wash the basil leaves under water, and add the fresh leaves onto the mozzarella slices.
Then, with a potato peeler, slice up the baby marrows (zucchini) and place on top of the basil leaves.
Now, grind a generous helping of salt and pepper on the baby marrows (zucchini).
Place the other half of the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) on top of the towering sandwich.
Baste the top of the brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) with a little olive oil.
Gently put the towering sandwiches in the ‘braai grid’, close and secure. You will notice that the sandwiches get squashed quite a bit. Pop any veggies that popped out, right back into the sandwich 🙂
Put the ‘braai grid’ over the medium coals of the braai (barbecue).
A good sign that they are ready is the cheese will start to melt.
Allow to cook for about 30 minutes.
Take off the braai (barbecue).