This recipe made our mouths water: tender eggplant slices team up with melted cheese, tomato or red bell pepper, and fresh basil to make a stack or a sandwich that tastes like summer. You can fire up the grill or make these under the broiler or in a pan; any way you do it, this is a healthy and flavorful meatless meal.
1 large eggplant, sliced into 16 1/4-inch rounds
8 thin slices provolone, Gouda, or other cheese
2 thinly-sliced tomatoes or 4 large pieces roasted red bell pepper
8 to 16 leaves fresh basil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
Seasalt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
1. Whisk all seasoning oil ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Brush eggplant slices with seasoning oil and place over medium-high heat on grill. Close lid and cook until tender, turning and brushing with remaining seasoning oil, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from grill. (You may also cook eggplant under the broiler, or saute them in a pan until tender, about 4 or 5 minutes per side.)
3. Place a slice of cheese on 1 eggplant slice, then top with another eggplant slice. Top this with 2 tomato slices or a piece of roasted red pepper, then put 2 to 4 basil leaves on top of that. Top with third eggplant slice, then another slice of cheese. Top with a fourth eggplant slice. Finish with a grind of pepper.
4. Repeat process to make 4 stacks. Place stacks on grill, close lid, and cook for about 2 minutes, turning once.
5. Serve immediately, or make into sandwiches on crusty rolls or bread. These sandwiches may be served warm or wrapped tightly and chilled several hours or overnight.