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Grilled Eggplant alla Norma Subs


  • 2 medium to large eggplants

  • 1/2-2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 8 plum tomatoes, lightly seeded and chopped

  • 1 cup fresh basil (20 leaves), thinly sliced or torn into small bits

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated with a Microplane or the small side of a box grater

  • 1/2 pound ricotta salata cheese, crumbled

  • 4 crusty sub rolls, split and toasted


Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high heat.

Trim off the ends of the eggplants, then square off the eggplants by removing most of the skin. Work lengthwise, turning each eggplant a quarter turn each time you remove a section of skin, leaving you with a large rectangle shape to work with. Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick eggplant “steaks.”

Pour some EVOO, about 1/2-2/3 cup, into a bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the eggplant steaks on both sides with the EVOO, then season them with salt and pepper. Cook the eggplant steaks for 6-8 minutes, until tender. Cool for 5 minutes to handle, then cut the steaks into thirds.

Place the tomatoes and basil in a bowl. Grate the garlic into the bowl. Season the tomatoes with lots of salt and pepper. You should have a few tablespoons of EVOO left in the bowl from the preparation of the eggplant. Pour some of that EVOO over the tomatoes, then toss to combine.

Layer the eggplant with lots of raw tomato sauce and cheese into each sub roll and open wide! Yum-o!