The toastie is a fantastic vehicle for leftovers from a previous feast. I invariably make a bit too much food when making dinner – which is perfect for lunch the next day – but if you are starting from scratch as a lunchtime treat, here is the recipe.
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking: 20 mins
1 medium aubergine
1 medium sweet potato
1 red onion
1 sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp harissa
Juice of 1 lemon
8 slices of sourdough bread
Salt and pepper
Heat your oven, with a roasting tray inside, to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
Slice the aubergine, sweet potato and red onion into 1cm-thick discs. Place in the tray with a glug of olive oil, chopped rosemary and seasoning. Roast until the onions start to caramelise, while the aubergine and sweet potato should be completely soft. This will take about 20 minutes.
In a bowl, loosen the harissa with lemon juice. Add the roasted vegetables and mix. Crush the sweet potato with the back of a spoon, this will help to bind the filling together.
For the assembly, layer the vegetables over four slices of bread with as much spinach as you can fit in.
For toasting you can use an electric panini machine, although I use a heavy bottomed frying pan and a weight. If you don’t have a weight, a saucepan works well – just use a piece of greaseproof paper between toastie and pan bottom. Set the heat at medium to low.
For a golden crisp to the bread and a warm filling, allow about three minutes on each side.
Chris Chillard is head chef at EartH Kitchen, Hackney, London