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Grilled Eggplant Panini with Basil Aioli

I love being able to use the bounty of fresh vegetables and herbs from my garden for summer meals. This sandwich is loaded with veggies and has such a satisfying crunch. The melty provolone finishes things off perfectly. —Joseph A. Sciascia, San Mateo, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Grill: 20 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 8 slices
  • 2 large sweet red peppers, cut into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, split
  • 8 slices provolone cheese


  • For aioli, place the first 8 ingredients in a blender; cover and process until smooth.
  • Brush vegetables with oil. Place in broiling pan and broil 3-4 inches from heat, or grill, covered, over medium heat until tender, 4-5 minutes per side. Chop the peppers when cool enough to handle.
  • Spread cut sides of each roll with 2 tablespoons aioli; top each with cheese. Layer bottoms with eggplant and peppers. Replace tops.
  • In a panini press, grill sandwiches until cheese is melted, 5-7 minutes. Serve remaining aioli with sandwiches or save for another use.

Test Kitchen tips
  • If you want to cook the sandwiches on an outdoor grill, wrap each individually in foil. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Try these sandwiches with large portobello mushrooms instead of sliced eggplant.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 panini: 732 calories, 38g fat (11g saturated fat), 33mg cholesterol, 1116mg sodium, 83g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 9g fiber), 23g protein.

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