Calabrian Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Panini

Inspired by the flavors of Calabria in Southern Italy, this panini is packed with eggplant roasted in olive oil along with mozzarella that’s been grilled until golden brown and bubbly.
Servings 6


  • 1 lb. Eggplant
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 large Ripe Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • 1 lb. Polly-O Low Moisture Whole Milk Mozzarella Loaf, cut into 12, ⅛" slices
  • 12 slices Italian Bread, cut on bias
  • 1 cup Prepared Pesto
  • Salt
  • Butter, softened


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Set oven rack in center of the oven. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Trim the stem of the eggplant. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 6, ¼" pieces. Sprinkle each side with a pinch of sea salt and place in a colander to drain for 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
  • Spread each side of the eggplant slices with the olive oil. Place on the sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat a panini grill.
  • Core and slice the tomatoes ¼" thick.
  • Evenly spread each slice of bread with the pesto. Place 2 slices of mozzarella onto half of the bread slices and then top with a layer of roasted eggplant and sliced tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and then place the remaining slices of bread, pesto side down, on top.
  • Spread each side of the sandwich with butter and then grill for 2 – 3 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.