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November 20, 2015

DIY: High Street on Market's grilled eggplant sandwich & broccoli salad

Chef Jon Nodler explains how to make his healthy dishes at home

Cooking Recipes
Carroll - High Street on Market Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The grilled eggplant sandwich from High Street on Market.

Alex Bois has been celebrated as Philly's king of bread-making, and rightfully so. The pillowy Kaiser rolls and ingeniously creative, assorted-grain-rich loaves that he churns out daily at High Street on Market have awarded him accolades from critics and publications nationwide. It's no surprise that the majority of the menu at the Old City restaurant is built around this crusty component. On its single page, you’ll find plenty of hearty sandwiches and dishes that beg you to break bread alongside each bite. 

Chef Jon Nodler, culinary director for High Street, has graciously shared recipes for two of these dishes below.

"The eggplant sandwich is our favorite vegetarian lunch sandwich," Nodler said. "It’s inspired by the classic eggplant parm sandwich but replaces fried eggplant with grilled. We add a smoky flavor with the cheese, and a tomato spread to reinforce the grilled flavor of the eggplant."

Nodler pairs this with another grill-prepped dish from the menu, the popular broccoli salad. It’s seasoned with a fresh, herb-infused marinade and topped with both blistered grapes and Marcona almonds, which you can find at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or The Head Nut at Reading Terminal Market. The Spanish almond has a softer, macadamia-like texture, with a slightly sweeter flavor profile. It’s worth seeking out, but regular almonds can certainly serve as an alternate. 

At the restaurant, Nodler toasts the almonds in the oven with a little olive oil and salt before tossing them with Sumac powder. He invites you to do this as well if time allows.

The one prep step you really shouldn’t skip, however, comes at the start. Be sure to swing by High Street’s headquarters first to grab bread for the eggplant sandwich. While this accessible combo is already designed to impress, that final touch will take it to the next level. Pick up a Rival Bros. coffee while you’re there, and then get ready to light the flames beneath your grill (or stove, if a grill pan is within reach). 

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

(Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

You'll Need

• 1 whole large Italian eggplant, sliced 1/8” thick
• 2 x 6” hoagie-style rolls, or bread of your choice
• 2 large leaves of romaine lettuce
• 4 slices smoked cheddar cheese (or melting cheese of your choice)
• Lemon juice, to taste
• Olive oil
• Salt
Tomato Spread:
• 8 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise, plus olive oil to coat
• 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 tsp. chili flakes
• 2 sprigs fresh basil (leaves only, discard stems)
• 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
• 4 Tbsp. olive oil


For tomato spread: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently squeeze out the seeds from halved Roma tomatoes, or scoop them out with a spoon. Place tomatoes on the baking sheet and toss with olive oil to lightly coat. Roast for 45-60 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to caramelize. When done, let cool and then give them a gentle press to release remaining juices.

Place the roasted tomatoes in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients for the tomato spread. Pulse until broken down but not pureed.

For the sandwich: Toss the sliced eggplant with olive oil and salt, then grill on both sides until charred. Season with a little more salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Slice hoagie rolls and toast until slightly crispy.

Spread 2 generous spoonfuls of tomato spread on each hoagie roll. Line each hoagie with 2 slices of smoked cheddar and garnish with fresh romaine lettuce. Place 3 slices of eggplant on each hoagie, and slice into 2-3 portions to serve.

Grilled Broccoli Salad

(Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

You'll Need

• ¼ head broccoli, cut into florets
• ¼ cup red grapes, halved
• ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
• 1 cup baby arugula
• ½ cup Marcona almonds
• Lemon juice, to taste
• Olive oil
• Salt 
Broccoli marinade
• 2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
• 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
• 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 tsp. chili flakes
• ½ cup olive oil

Directions: Whisk marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Toss broccoli florets in olive oil and salt. Then, grill broccoli until slightly charred. Once grilled, toss the broccoli while still warm in the marinade to generously coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss red grapes in olive oil until lightly coated and sprinkle with salt. Grill on a sheet of aluminum foil until blistered and slightly charred.

Combine broccoli, red grapes, red onion and baby arugula. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, to taste. Garnish with Marcona almonds.