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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Grilled Eggplant Caprese Stacks

There is just so much to love about summer! ( I really wanted to type that in all caps, but I didn't want to shout at you.  Well, I do want to shout it.  But I didn't want to hurt your eyes.  Tell me you understand what I'm saying and that I'm really not just babbling.)

Here's just ONE thing I love about summer:

Caprese Eggplant Stacks!!

You could make these any time of year, but they are especially good in the summer with fresh-picked tomatoes. If those fresh-picked tomatoes happen to be heirloom tomatoes...well, let's just say that if you happen upon a bin of local heirloom tomatoes at your supermarket--or better yet, at a local farmers market--don't pass them by!  

Today's Playlist
  • "Hang On To Yourself"...David Bowie
  • "Times Like These"...Foo Fighters
  • "Cannon"...The White Stripes
  • "I'm Yours"...Jason Mraz
  • "City Of Angels"...The Distillers
  • "Bro Hymn"...Pennywise
  • "Buddy Holly"...Weezer

Grilled Eggplant Caprese Stacks (yields 8 to 12 stacks)
  • 1 large or 2 small Italian eggplants
  • olive oil, for brushing the eggplant
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 oz. ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite pesto
  • coarse or flaked sea salt (Maldon sea salt flakes are perfect)
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

Gather your ingredients.  

Use whatever type of pesto you love best, whether it's homemade or bought from a store.  I had already made my pesto in advance.  If you want to make homemade pesto,  Click here for my recipe.  

Prep your ingredients--slice the tomatoes, mozzarella and eggplant into slices about 1/4" thick.

Roll up the basil leaves and slice them into ribbons.

Grill the eggplant:  brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil. Grill about 3 to 4 minutes per side with your grill on medium/high heat.

While the first side of the eggplant is grilling, I begin assembling the stacks.

Place the largest slices of tomato on a platter.  Sprinkle with the sea salt.

Check the eggplant and flip the slices when they have visible grill marks and have started to soften slightly.

Layer a slice of mozzarella onto the tomatoes.  If you're lucky the mozzarella slices are slightly smaller in diameter than the tomato slices.

Spread a heaping teaspoon of pesto onto the mozzarella.

Place an eggplant slice onto your tomato/mozzarella stacks.  The hot eggplant will soften the mozzarella.

This is why I use Italian eggplant instead of large eggplant; the smaller size fits nicely onto our stacks instead of overwhelming them.

Place a final (small) slice of tomato on top of the eggplant.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

You could also use a balsamic reduction instead of vinegar.  Your choice!

Sprinkle with the basil ribbons.

You can serve these immediately, while the eggplant is still warm, or refrigerate them and serve them cold.


1 comment:

  1. This looks just fabulous Fran. I picked up some fresh eggplant at the farmers market this morning so now I need the other ingredients to try this. Yummy, thanks.
    Oh, and I followed what you were saying, LOL.


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