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Spicy Halloumi, Eggplant, and Tomato Sandwich

Spicy Halloumi, Eggplant, and Tomato Sandwich

Wendy Crispell
This recipe is far more adventurous than the basic caprese sandwich. To up the heat, serve a variety of hot peppers or giardiniera salad (a mix of pickled peppers and vegetables) on the side. Or cool your palate with a forkful of potato salad and a glug of chilled Frappato, an Italian red wine.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • 1 pound eggplant washed, stem removed, cut into uniform round slices
  • Table salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces halloumi cut crosswise into 8 slices, each about ¼-inch thick
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 large tomato sliced
  • 8 basil leaves cleaned and cut into chiffonade



  • Whisk together all ingredients until combined.


  • Put eggplant in colander in single layer, and sprinkle with salt. Let drain 20 minutes, then turn over and sprinkle other side with salt, and let drain 20 minutes more.
  • While eggplant drains, heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high.
  • Wipe eggplant slices with paper towels, and brush with olive oil. Grill eggplant slices for 4 to 5 minutes per side, being careful not to overcook. Remove from grill, and put on large serving platter. Pour dressing over eggplant, making sure to coat all pieces evenly, then cover and chill for 1 hour. This step can be done up to a day ahead.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and sauté halloumi for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.


  • Cut ciabatta rolls in half, and assemble each sandwich using 2 slices of eggplant, 2 slices of halloumi, 1 slice of tomato, and ¼ of the basil. If not eating immediately, wrap each sandwich in foil and refrigerate. Leftover eggplant will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days—eat it atop a green salad or with crusty bread.

Wendy Crispell

Wendy Crispell is a wine and cheese educator based in Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley of New York. When not wandering gourmet markets, she can be found in her country kitchen testing recipes for cheesy dishes and cocktails.

Photographer Mark Ferri

Mark Ferri is a graduate of Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. He believes in a simple, direct approach that captures the natural beauty and appetite appeal of food. Mark celebrates a life-long passion for food by frequently exploring new restaurants in New York and in Europe, and loves to cook and entertain at his home in the Hudson Valley. Learn more about Mark on his website: http://www.markferriphoto.com/

Stylist Leslie Orlandini

Leslie Orlandini is a chef and an accomplished food stylist in print and television. She has been nominated for both James Beard and Emmy awards and is a veteran of thousands of cooking shows and segments. You can learn more about her through her website: http://leslieorlandini.com/