The eggplant stacks can be served simply with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil or with a tablespoon of fresh pesto. The stacks can stand-alone or serve them as a side dish with grilled chicken for a light lunch or supper.
These stacks work best with the common Black eggplant but you can use the round Graffiti variety as well.
I roast my red peppers right on the gas grill, and prefer fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella when available.
Although eggplant season peaks in later summer, it's a wonderful option while your waiting for your vegetable garden to grow!
Eggplant Stack Recipe (serves 4)
2 medium eggplants, approximately the same circumference (you will need 12 slices)
2 large red bell peppers, charred, peeled and sliced into 8 portions (you can substitute jarred peppers)
1 8-oz. ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 portions
2-3 table spoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
½-cup pesto sauce
Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees. Layer sliced eggplant into a colander and sprinkle each layer generously with salt. Let eggplant rest in sink for 30-45 minutes. This process extracts any bitter liquid from eggplant. Discard liquid, rinse slices, with cold water, pat dry and layer on a lined baking sheet.
Brush slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Grill whole peppers on a gas grill, turning every 5 minutes or so making sure to char them on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let peppers steam for 10 minutes; this helps loosen the skin and allows easier peeling. Peel, seed and portion peppers into 8 slices.
To assemble stacks:
On plate or platter place the 4 largest eggplant slices. Place a slice of pepper and one of the mozzarella on top. Place another slice of eggplant, pepper and mozzarella and top with final slice of eggplant.
At this point you can drizzle your favorite balsamic vinaigrette, good quality extra virgin olive oil or my favorite pesto on top.