This is a great recipe for a party. It takes a bit of time to grill & prep all the veggies. But if you use a whole eggplant, one or two red peppers, a few tomatoes, a bunch of mushrooms & some herbs and cheese, you’ll have enough filling for two French bread loaves and be able to feed a lot of your friends. Yay party food!!
Slice eggplant into rounds and brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper then cook in grill pan or a regular frying pan. Turn the eggplant slices a few times being careful not to let them burn. They cook in about 5-7 minutes.
Slice your favorite mushrooms, toss them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and cook them in the grill pan.
Meanwhile, heat the broiler to high and char the skin of a sweet bell pepper, which you’ve cut in half and de-seeded . Once the skin is charred, put it in a dish and cover it to steam. This makes it easier to peel.
For the garlic bread: Mix 2 tblsp olive oil with 2 tblsp butter using a fork. Add 4 or more crushed garlic cloves and a big pinch of Italian seasoning. Spread it on both sides of a French bread loaf. Place it on a lower rack in the oven to cook for a few minutes. Then raise it up to the broiler and watch closely as the garlic side toasts. Don’t walk away! I’ve wrecked so many garlic breads by walking away & multi tasking.
Peel the charred skin off the red pepper and slice it into thin strips.
On a cookie sheet, place the open halves of the garlic bread and layer them both with the slices of eggplant, sliced fresh tomatoes, chopped cooked mushrooms, red bell pepper slices, sun dried tomato, fresh chopped basil or dry basil, and top with your favorite cheese. Broil for a minute or two, again being careful to watch it. Since most of these veggies are hot it only takes a minute to melt the cheese.
When you take it out, you can drizzle with a teeny bit of balsamic vinegar if you like. Put the two halves together, press it down gently so it doesn’t come flying apart, and slice into 3 inch long or so servings.