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.