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April 12, 2010 / Sarah

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

I had to improvise on the tapenade since I didn’t realize I only had (just shy of) 1/2 cup of olives left.  It turned out really well with the olive/sun-dried tomato/pepperoncini mix – I think the pepperoncini added a nice kick to the sandwich!

I have categorized this sandwich as vegetarian, but I want to note that there are anchovies in the tapenade.  The point of the anchovy is to add a briny kick, which are also achieved by the olives and capers, so feel free to leave them out to make this completely vegetarian!

The Athena
Adapted from Grilled Cheese Academy

1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
3 cloves garlic, 2 minced
2 cups fat-free Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1/2 cups kalamata olives, drained
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup pepperoncinis, drained
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 anchovy fillets
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large eggplant
3 sandwiches thins or flat breads
1 cup (6-8 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Fro the tzatziki sauce:

  1. Grate cucumber on large holes of box grater; place in bowl. Add minced garlic, Greek yogurt, honey, cayenne, and a pinch of salt. Mix well and refrigerate until serving time.

For the tapenade:

  1. Process olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoncinis, capers, parsley, remaining clove of garlic, and anchovy fillets in food processor bowl with 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil; process until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

For the sandwiches:

  1. Slice eggplant into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat outdoor grill or stove top griddle and grill eggplant slices for about 2 minutes a side. Set aside. Keep grill or griddle hot.
  2. Cut flatbread pieces in half and place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of tapenade on each half. Top one side of each half with 1 ounce Feta, tomato slices, onion slices, eggplant slices, another ounce of Feta, and the other flatbread half. Brush sandwich tops with olive oil and place, oil-side down, on hot grill. Grill about 3 minutes, then brush with more olive oil and flip. Grill until flatbread browns and cheese is heated through. Serve with tzatziki sauce on the side.


Leave a Comment
  1. Kathy - Panini Happy / Apr 13 2010 2:52 pm

    I can just imagine how yummy this was! So many great recipes on the Grilled Cheese Academy site. Would love to have you enter this in my 2nd Annual Grilled Cheese Pageant!

    P.S. What a fun blog concept!

  2. Peg / Apr 17 2010 9:16 pm

    Was it hard to flip over these sandwiches? How do they stick together without the filling going all over the place? I can’t imagine that mine would look as good. They sound wonderful though!

    • Sarah / Apr 18 2010 7:55 pm

      Surprisingly most of the stuff stayed in when I flipped them! I used the panini press that you got me for my birthday to kind of squish everything together, so I think that helped keep everything in the sandwich when I flipped them.

  3. Amanda / May 12 2010 8:38 am

    This looks amazing! Love your version of The Athena! Have you posted it to the Grilled Cheese Academy’s gallery yet?

    • Sarah / May 13 2010 11:56 am

      No – I didn’t know you could submit your own photos! Thanks for letting me know!

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