I am not ready to let summer go just yet. That’s why we are still all about grillin’ and chillin’. This recipe is kind of a hybrid of Caprese salad and eggplant parm. It’s got grilled smoky eggplant layered with thick, juicy grilled tomato slices and fresh mozzarella accented with fresh basil pesto. It’s a tower of late summer’s bounty.
While my herb garden has been bangin’ all summer long, my veggie garden has had its ups and downs. The zero-rain to total-rain weather has a lot of plants confused. Up to this point, my Sungold tomatoes have been the only solid producer, but recently my other tomatoes have started coming in much better – fully ripe and delightful.
I had a farmers’ market eggplant languishing on the counter. It desperately needed to get used. I was craving eggplant parm, but let’s face it, the recent heat wave had me avoiding anything requiring an oven.
So, I decided to not only grill eggplant slices but gently grill thick slices of tomato. With a small batch of freshly-made pesto and slices of fresh mozzarella, I had everything I needed to put together a quick, healthy dinner, all made and enjoyed al fresco.
Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Stacks
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 pound eggplant, sliced into 6 rounds 1/2″ thick
- 2 large tomatoes, each sliced into 3 rounds 1/2″ thick
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 6 slices
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- In a food processor combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Set aside.
- Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil.
- Grill eggplant slices for 3 minutes. Flip and continue to grill for another 3 minutes, until tender.
- Remove from grill and set aside on a platter.
- Brush both sides of the tomato slices with olive oil.
- Grill tomato slices for 30 seconds per side, just to heat through.
- Remove from grill and place on a separate platter.
- Assemble two stacks, each beginning with an eggplant slice on the bottom, followed by a spoonful of pesto, tomato slice, mozzarella, eggplant, pesto, tomato, mozzarella, eggplant, pesto, tomato, mozzarella. Top each stack with extra pesto and serve immediately.
OMG!!! That sounds outrageously scrumptious!
Our tomatoes are ripening on the vine, I'll find an organic eggplant and we've already made this year's pesto! Fresh mozzarella in waiting in the fridge!!! And a nice crusty Italian bread and a bottle of red is all that's needed for a perfect late summer fest!!