Emeril's Eggplant Muffuletta

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, Emeril's, New Orleans

Serves 4

  •  2 eggplants, medium, trimmed and cut into ½ inch thick rounds, about 1½ pounds
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf Italian bread
  • Basil Spread (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups New Olreans-style olive salad
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese,sliced
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, sliced

Basil Spread

  • 1½ teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Note: Rouses carries olive salad, as do many Italian delis.

Emeril's Eggplant Muffuletta

 Emeril's Eggplant Muffuletta

Click image to enlarge.


Position an oven rack as close to the broiler unit as possible andn preheat broiler.

Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on two lightly greased baking sheets. Using pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of slices with olive oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Broil eggplant in batches until slices are tender and lightly browned and have released most of their moisture, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F and move the oven rack to center position.

When ready to assemble the sandwiches, slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally. Using a pastry brush, spread the bottoom half with a generous amount of Basil Spread.

Next, spread the olive salad (with its olive oil, do not strain) over the top half of the loaf. Layer the sliced mozzarella and provolone on top of the olive salad and then layer the slices of eggplant. Place the bottom half of the sandwich on top and lightly press. Quickly and carefully turn the loaf over so the olive salad side is on top.

Place the muffuletta on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until the cheese has melted, the muffuletta is heated through, and the bread is slightly crisp, about 12 minutes.

Remove the baking sheeet from the oven and carefully transfer the loaf to a cutting board. Press lightly and cut the loaf into 4 sections. Serve immediately.

Basil spread

In a food processor or blender process the garlic and basil on high speed while adding the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue to process until well blended.

Season with salt. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to one week. Yields about 3/4 cup.


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