This eggplant spinach grilled cheese sandwich draws on Greek flavors for a deliciously cheesy vegetarian grilled cheese. It's hearty and filling, but without feeling too heavy since it's veggie-packed too!
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Grilled cheese isn't really a thing (at least by that name) in the UK as it is in the US. If we have cheese and bread together it's typically as an uncooked sandwich or it's melted on to one slice of bread as cheese on toast.
However in our house, we had a waffle maker with changeable plates that could make grilled cheese, or as we called them, toasted sandwiches or cheese toasties. I can't particularly remember what we put in them, but I think mainly just cheese and ham.
These days, I often go relatively plain on grilled cheese, but now and then I get creative, as I did with this eggplant spinach grilled cheese.
I started thinking of some favorite sandwiches in local cafes that had spinach in them. That then got me to thinking about spanakopita and that Greek flavors would work well in a grilled cheese sandwich. After more thinking on ideas, the result was this fantastically delicious sandwich, which is just what is called for during grilled cheese month (that's now, in case you wondered!). Take any excuse, though, this is one great sandwich.
The spinach takes on the flavors from the softened onions to be mildly sweet. The eggplant/aubergine is soft and smooth and the feta adds that flavorful saltiness. The dill havarti tops it off with a final bit more cheesiness that's just a little more gooey than the feta. All in all it's got so many delicious flavors and textures going on it was a big hit here and one we have already repeated.
While it takes a little more work than your basic grilled cheese, the spinach-feta filling and the eggplant can be cooked in advance and kept in the fridge then the sandwich put together and grilled when you are ready. In fact it's generally easier to make a slightly larger amount of the spinach mixture and use it over a couple days - believe me, even me with my general need for variety I was more than happy to have this a couple days in a row.
How to make this eggplant spinach grilled cheese sandwich
- Slice the eggplant and sprinkle with salt.
- Wilt down the spinach, remove from pan and allow to cool.
- Saute the onion until soft.
- Squeeze excess liquid from spinach and chop then mix with onion, feta and cream cheese.
- Fry the eggplant slices until golden.
- Drizzle oil on outside of slices, then layer up inside with spinach mixture, then eggplant then dill havarti. Top with other slice.
- Grill sandwich on both sides or put in panini press until cheese is melted and bread golden.
With lots of great veggies in there, this eggplant spinach grilled cheese is a relatively healthy take on the theme. And it's certainly a deliciously comforting version that's hearty enough to keep you going for the rest of the day. The main thing, though, is that it's really tasty and one you'll be wanting to make again soon. So give it a try!
Try these other tasty sandwiches:
- Romesco bacon grilled cheese
- "The Jamin' Jamaican" chicken grilled cheese
- Croque monsieur croissant
- Plus get more lunch recipes in the archives.
Eggplant spinach grilled cheese sandwich ('the green Greek')
- ½ eggplant aubergine - approx 6-9 slices to give a layer in each sandwich
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil approx, for cooking
- 5 oz spinach 140g
- ¼ red onion or around 4 green/spring onions
- 2 oz feta 60g
- 1 tbsp cream cheese
- 6 slices bread (or 4 if larger)
- 6 slices dill havarti approx - to give a layer in each sandwich
- Sprinkle the slices of eggplant with salt and set aside a few minutes while you prepare the spinach.
- Wilt spinach in a little olive oil in a pan. Remove once wilted and allow to cool. Squeeze out excess water and roughly chop.
- Dice the onion and fry in a little oil until softened. Put in a small bowl with the spinach and add the crumbled feta and the cream cheese. Mix until evenly combined.
- Rub the salt from the eggplant then fry the slices in some olive oil until gently brown on both sides.
- Drizzle some olive oil on one side of both slices of bread and rub to cover. Turn the slices over.
- Spread some of the spinach mixture on one piece of bread then put the eggplant slices on top followed by the slices of havarti to create a layer over the top. Put the other slice of bread on top, oil side out.
- Fry the sandwich in a pan a few minutes on each side until browned and cheese has melted.
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