By Angela Stephens
Gannett News Service
If you're looking for healthy alternatives for Super Bowl party fare, check out natural, specialty and bakery-style restaurants as well as high-end markets with delis. They usually offer an interesting array of choices in good-for-you soups and sandwiches.
Some of the most popular sandwiches on these menus are vegetarian, too. Roasted veggies such as eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, tomatoes and marinated vegetables like artichokes, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes are combined with interesting cheeses such as mozzarella, Gorgonzola or provolone and stacked onto specialty breads and rolls.
Once you get hooked on some of these specialty sandwiches, you'll probably realize they aren't so difficult to create in your own kitchen. Take a basic recipe, such as the one below, and tailor it to your own tastes.
For example, adding some grilled zucchini to the eggplant, or some roasted red bell peppers, creates a much more complex flavor.
Try creating your own spread for your sandwich by combining herbs or a bit of Dijon-style mustard to mayonnaise, plain yogurt or cream cheese.
Don't forget about your choice of bread. While it may be as simple as the crusty white bread suggested below, most larger markets have a fun selection of artisan-style breads and rolls that would make that special sandwich just right.
Grilled Eggplant Sandwich with Mozzarella
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 small eggplants, about 11/2 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella
8 slices crusty white bread
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
Mince or crush the garlic and add it to the olive oil. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes.
Remove stem ends from the eggplants and cut them crosswise into one-quarter-inch slices. Do not peel them.
Grill slices over medium heat until well browned on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper and lightly brushing with the garlic-flavored oil as they cook. Allow eggplants to cool in a single layer on a tray or platter and brush with the oil as they cool.
For each sandwich arrange a double layer of eggplant slices on a slice of bread and top with cheese, a generous layer of basil and another slice of bread. Makes 4 servings.
The Art of the Sandwich (Chronicle Books; 1990) by Jay Harlow
TASTE TEST: HOT WINGS
What's hot in wings
Bars with wings
Taste Team's rankings
Chicken wings hard to make at home
Recipes break traditions
Zin will win Super Bowl
Pretzels make fine sandwich
Adorable taco tartlets lighten up game day
Sandwiches can make Super Bowl good for you
'Ring' reigns over the Oscars
Recognized by their peers
Academy Award nominees
Body and Mind
Here's the skinny on diets
Dave Matthews Band will pick up NAACP image award
Streisand could make a movie
Barbara Walters will step down as co-host of ABC's '20/20'
Get to it!
TV Best Bets
Get out and enjoy the beauty of snow