Remember that kick ass focaccia? Welcome back, oh favored one!
I took that focaccia and made the ultimate panino (sandwich) inspired by one I had at All’Antico Vinaio in Florence. Piled with burrata, my favorite cold cuts, hot peppers, and a savory eggplant spread, this is the thing sandwich dreams are made of. GAH. Now I want a panino.
1 large slice plain focaccia, halved horizontally
8 ounces burrata, sliced
4 slices prosciutto
8 slices finochiona
8 slices coppa
8 slices sopressata
2 slices provolone
1 handful arugula
1/4 cup pickled hot peppers, sliced
1/4 cup eggplant spread (recipe below)
Spread one side of the focaccia with the eggplant spread, and the other with the burrata. Layer with salami, arugula, and hot peppers. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Enjoy!
INGREDIENTS (EGGPLANT SPREAD)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggplant, each about 12 ounces, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a 4-quart deep sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1/4 cup of the olive oil until nearly smoking. Add half of the eggplant and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and repeat with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the remaining eggplant. Transfer to the platter.
Warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the pan. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring often, until just golden, about 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chili flakes until blended and return the eggplant to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is very tender and almost mushy, 6 to 8 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the eggplant mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, and stir in the basil, lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.