Saturday, June 11, 2011

Grilled Eggplant Stacks Recipe

Mr. T is not what you'd call an eggplant person. So I get a little excited when we find an eggplant dish he likes because I loooove eggplant. I've spent years of wondering why some eggplant dishes taste delicious to him and others he absolutely won't touch. 
I had an inkling that it might be either the thickness or the bitterness. So I conducted a secret test on him at home. I made eggplant but I soaked it in salt first. It's supposed to remove the bitterness. I also went thin on the slices, but not too thin. Well, he loved these eggplant stacks so much that he asked me to move them into weekly rotation at Casa de Elle Beau. And that's a big deal for me, the eggplant lover.

And so, I've discovered the secret life of eggplants. They've whispered to me, I'm the eggplant whisper. They really want to be cooked correctly otherwise they're just bitter. And you never want to encounter a bitter eggplant . . . or a bitter person for that matter.

Grilled Eggplant Stacks Recipe
2 large, firm eggplants sliced in rounds (about a 1/4 inch thick)
Olive oil
Ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
2-3 tomatoes , sliced
Pesto (Note, I just used fresh basil, olive oil and garlic pureed in a blender.)

1/2 can crushed tomatoes
2 pinches crushed red pepper
Olive oil
3 gloves of garlic, minced
Heaping teaspoon of sugar
Salt to taste
Fresh basil

Take the sliced eggplant and sprinkle it with Kosher salt. Set the slices in a colander in the sink.

Now make the sauce. Lightly cover the bottom of a medium sauce pan with olive oil. Over medium low heat, add minced garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook until light golden brown. Don't burn it! Add tomatoes, sugar and salt and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add basil at the end when just ready to serve over eggplant stacks.

After the eggplant's sat for about an hour, run cold water and rinse the slices. Pat each slice dry. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil. (You can add salt and pepper to the olive oil depending on much salt you like in your food.) Place eggplant on hot grill, olive oil side down. Once on the grill, brush top side with olive oil. When the tops of the eggplant slices become translucent, they are ready to flip. Repeat until done and set slices aside on a plate.

To assemble the stacks, take a small amount of tomato sauce and put in a small pan. (The sauce will keep the bottom from burning.) Take an eggplant slice and place it over the sauce. Spread a small dollop of pesto on the top of the eggplant slice. Place a slice of tomato and cheese on the eggplant over the pesto. Repeat layers about 4-5 times. Spoon more sauce over the top and cover with a lid. Turn on heat to medium high. Cook until the cheese starts to melt. Serve and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment