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Pressed Eggplant Sandwiches

Who knew your could make a Mediterranean pressed eggplant sandwich with a stack of books? Pesto, mozzarella, grilled eggplant, and roasted bell pepper!

Who knew your could make a Mediterranean pressed eggplant sandwich with a stack of books? Pesto, mozzarella, grilled eggplant, and roasted bell pepper!

You know those headlines that are so popular on Facebook now like “He buys a tomato…what happens next will amaze you”? And you really shouldn’t care but you just have to know what happens to that tomato?

Well the headline for today’s blog post would read “Things went crazy in the kitchen. What Penelope the fish saw will shock you”. And now you just HAVE to know what Penelope saw, right?! So let’s get cooking.

Pressed Eggplant Sandwiches

This is a pressed ciabatta bread sandwich with a lot of Mediterranean goodness. Pesto, eggplant, zucchini, mozzarella, roasted red bell pepper, the list goes on. Oh, and you can make homemade pesto real easily here.

Pressed Eggplant Sandwiches

It’s summertime, so we’re gonna start on the grill (though if you don’t have a grill, the stove top makes an alright substitute). I’d never roasted a pepper until today, but I think I’ve just found a new cooking favorIte. Because you are SUPPOSED to burn it. How great is that? I can go off into Sarah la la land and completely forget that I’m cooking and come back to a black bell pepper and it’s TOTALLY OKAY! So you burn up your pepper, grill your zucchini and eggplant, and you’re on your way.

Pressed Eggplant Sandwiches

Then there are the cheeses. Oh the cheese! Get yourself a hunk of fresh buffalo mozzarella and cut it into 1/4 inch thick slabs. Then find a nice chunk of aged Parmesan and slice off a few pieces of that. Now we’re really getting somewhere.

Split a fresh (fresher = less chewy = less likely to break your jaw) loaf of ciabatta in half then spread some Pesto Genovese on the top piece. On the bottom piece layer on mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini, roasted red bell pepper pieces, prosciutto, and parmesan.

Pressed Eggplant SandwichesPressed Eggplant Sandwiches

Whoa Bessy that’s a lot! But that’s not even the fun part. Now you’re gonna wrap the sandwich up real tight with plastic wrap and set a bunch of heavy books on it.

Pressed Eggplant SandwichesPressed Eggplant Sandwiches

And this is where shiza hit the fan. My big ole stack of books toppled over, knocking my newly planted succulents off the table and nearly taking out Penelope as well, giving her the biggest scare of her little fish life. So yea, set your sandwich/book contraption on the ground or somewhere clear of anything breakable.

Pressed Eggplant Sandwiches

Let the sandwich press for about 2 hours, unwrap, slice, and enjoy!

Pressed Eggplant SandwichesPressed Eggplant Sandwiches

Pressed Eggplant Sandwich

Who knew your could make a Mediterranean pressed eggplant sandwich with a stack of books? Pesto, mozzarella, grilled eggplant, and roasted bell pepper!

Course Sandwiches and Wraps
Occasion 4th of July, Game Day
Time 60 minutes or more
Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 540 kcal
Author Live Eat Learn


  • 1 large loaf ciabatta bread
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 Tbsp pesto click for recipe
  • 4 oz buffalo mozzarella cheese sliced into 1/4 inch slabs
  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • 2 oz parmesan about 1/4 cup, sliced


  1. Slice eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 inch slabs. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and grill about 5 minutes, until soft and slightly charred.
  2. Place red bell pepper directly onto grill. Cook 10 to 20 minutes, rotating often, until outside is blackened. Place pepper in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside 20 minutes. Remove skin and seeds from pepper and slice into strips.
  3. Slice ciabatta in half lengthwise and spread pesto onto top half.
  4. On bottom half, layer on mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper slices, prosciutto, then parmesan. You do not have to use all of each ingredient and you may have some leftovers.
  5. Wrap sandwich tightly with plastic wrap. In an area free from breakables, set a few heavy books on top of the sandwich, and allow the sandwich to press about 2 hours.
  6. Unwrap sandwich, slice into 4 pieces, and enjoy!


Store leftovers sandwiches in fridge, but best if eaten right away as the ciabatta gets chewier with time. Got leftover veggies? Throw them into some fresh cooked pasta, stir in pesto, and sprinkle with parmesan. It's like the pressed sandwich's fraternal twin!

Nutrition Facts
Pressed Eggplant Sandwich
Amount Per Serving (1 sandwich)
Calories 540 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 34%
Sodium 899mg 37%
Total Carbohydrates 70g 23%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Protein 23g 46%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Helpful products for this eggplant sandwich

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy something from that link I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting Live Eat Learn and for making these recipes possible!


Hi, I’m Sarah! We’re working our way through the easy vegetarian kitchen, one ingredient at a time. Learn more and follow along!



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  1. Mama says:

    Did the succulents survive?

    1. Sarah says:

      They did! Well they appear to have. You never know with succulents. But with my green thumb they’ll be dead in a week.