July 26, 2011

Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Stacks

eggplant, tomato, mozzarella stacks
If I had to pick my favourite summer vegetable, I think it would have to be the tomato. And for those who say a tomato is a fruit, I think it still beats out any other summer fruits too. I can't think of any flavour that's better than a plump, juicy tomato, sprinkled with salt and pepper and drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar. Mmmm, I'm drooling just thinking about it. When I picked up some monster tomatoes and a giant bunch of basil at the farmers' market the other week (I'm pretty sure I made the whole bus smell like basil on the way home, but in my opinion I did the bus a favour), I knew I had to make a caprese salad.

However, I'd promised myself earlier that I would use that pesky eggplant I'd had for a while and didn't know what to do with. That's when I remembered seeing a recipe for eggplant, tomato and mozzarella stacks on Eating Well - problem solved! The recipe called for pesto to be added to the stacks, which I'm sure would be delicious, but I decided to leave it out so it wouldn't overpower the taste of the tomato, which I wanted to be the star of the dish.

The stacks were exactly what I was looking for, and I can't wait to make them again! I ate three as a light meal since I was just cooking for myself, but they would be ideal as a side dish to a main course. It almost seems unnecessary to post a recipe since the ingredients are clearly visible from the picture, but here goes anyway!

Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Stacks
Adapted from Eating Well

Makes 4 stacks


2 large tomatoes (I used about one and a half - amount may vary according to their size)
1 eggplant (I used about half of one)
About 8 oz mozzarella, or 8 slices
Handful of basil leaves
Balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper


Slice the eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices, using the smaller end of the eggplant so the size of the slices will roughly match the tomato slices. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking oil. Lay the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Spray the tops with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil until tender and golden brown on both sides (mine took about 5 minutes a side). Alternately, use your favourite method to cook the eggplant - grilling, pan frying, or baking should all work.

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella. Arrange stacks by placing the largest slices of eggplant on the bottom, followed by a tomato slice, a bit of salt and pepper, mozzarella, and basil leaves. Repeat, finishing with a basil leaf on top.

Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the stacks. If you want a slightly sweeter taste, make a balsamic reduction first by bringing the balsamic to a boil then simmering until syrupy and reduced by about half.

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