The Ultimate Vegetarian Club Sandwich

Taking time and care with each component—like getting a nice char on the eggplant—is the secret to this standout sandwich.


    • 1 Japanese eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
    • ⅜ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • ⅜ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
    • Cooking spray
    • 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
    • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
    • ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives plus 1 tsp. olive brine
    • 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices seeded whole-grain bread
    • ½ cup hummus
    • 1 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
    • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 1 Roma tomato, sliced
    • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
    • 1 to 1 1/2 cups arugula


  1. Season eggplant with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Generously coat with cooking spray. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high. Working in batches, add eggplant, cut sides down, to pan, and grill 2 to 3 minutes, turning 1 or 2 times. Transfer to a plate; let cool.
  2. Stir together mayonnaise, mustard and horseradish in a small bowl. Set aside. Using a small food processor, whirl the olives and brine into a spreadable puree.
  3. Grill bread directly over a medium flame, turning often, about 1 minute to slightly char the surface and impart a bit of smokiness. Let cool briefly.
  4. Spread about 2 tablespoons hummus on each of 4 bread slices, and top evenly with eggplant, olive puree, roasted red pepper, avocado, tomato, cucumber and arugula. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise mixture on each of the remaining 4 bread slices. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper and top the sandwiches. If you like, add a little more arugula for bite. Serve sandwiches whole or cut in half.