Today’s recipe is to some extent similar to eggplant parmesan, but it’s assembled in single-portion little stacks. Much much much much simpler to make.
Layers of tender grilled eggplant, slices of charred tomato, melty mozzarella, sharp Parmesan cheese, fresh basil leaves…could it get any better?
Uh, that would be a “NO!”
You can think of this as a change in the architecture of classic eggplant parmesan casserole. The flavors are very similar, even though the tomato sauce is replaced by slices of sweet, juicy tomatoes — which are in abundance right now at your local Farmer’s market (and maybe in your own backyard.)
Also, eggplant parm stacks have a very different vibe from the casserole. They’re both delicious but I believe the stacks are definitely more fun!
The procedure is quite simple: salt the eggplant slices before grilling them to draw out excess moisture and prevent the eggplant from getting mushy and bitter. The tomatoes are quickly charred to develop their sweetness and fragrant aromas.
And finally there’s the assembling part, which is ridiculously easy and quick — it literally takes a couple of minutes.
One stack per person is great for a starter or for dinner if there’s salad on the side. Serve two stacks per person for a more filling dinner.
With tomato season at its peak, there’s no excuse not to give this recipe a try. You’ll be amazed how something so simple can be so satisfying.
Summer Eggplant Parmesan Stacks Print this recipe!
1 medium eggplant, sliced into ¼-inch rounds (12 slices in total)
2 medium tomatoes, sliced into ½-inch rounds (8 slices in total)
1 mozzarella ball (8 oz), sliced into ⅛-inch rounds (8 slices in total)*
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
Handful fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
*Alternatively you can use 1 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Lightly grease a small baking dish. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine olive oil and 4 basil leaves. Set aside.
Place eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let drain for 30 minutes (the salt will draw out some moisture). Rinse the slices, then pat dry with paper towels.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add eggplant slices (in batches if necessary) and grill eggplant, until tender and slightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Set aside on a plate.
Add tomato slices and grill until tender and charred, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside on a plate.
To make eggplant stacks, place one eggplant slice in the baking dish, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, top with one tomato slice, one mozzarella slice, and a couple of drops of basil olive oil. Repeat to make another layer, ending with an eggplant slice.
Repeat to make four stacks.
Place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve immediately topped with remaining basil leaves.
One stack yields 172 calories, 13 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of protein.