10. Eggplant & Tomato Stacks with Basil and Feta
This recipe makes use of an outdoor grill, but don’t let that stop you from trying it if you don’t have/don’t want to grill — check out the link to the original recipe for indoor preparation.
- 1 Cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more shredded leaves for garnish
- 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Medium eggplants
- 1 Large tomato and 2 medium tomatoes
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 Cup crumbled feta
1. Place basil, olive oil and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a food processor or blender. Pulse until basil is finely chopped. Place a sieve lined with a coffee filter or paper towel in a large bowl, and pour basil oil into it. Let the basil oil drain. After about 20 minutes, hold up the sides of the paper or filter and lightly press down to get more oil out. Reserve and set aside solid basil pieces, as well as 1 tablespoon of the oil.
2. Prepare grill. Charcoal should be medium-hot, gas grills should be on moderate heat.
3. While the grill is heating, remove bottoms from eggplants. Cut each eggplant into six crosswise rounds about 1/2 inch thick. Cut four 1/3 inch thick rounds from large tomato. Cut one 1/3 inch thick center slice from each medium tomato. You’ll have leftover eggplant and tomato, so set them aside for later use.
4. Brush both sides of the eggplant rounds with the basil oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly oil a grill rack and place the eggplant rounds on it. Cover the eggplant if you’re using a gas grill, leave uncovered if using charcoal. Grill for 6-10 minutes or until the eggplant is very tender, turning occasionally. If the eggplant starts to look dry, brush a little more oil on.
5. Arrange stacks. Place the four largest eggplant rounds on a baking pan small enough to fit in grill. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the reserved basil solids on each round. Top the four largest tomato rounds on each eggplant round. Season each with salt and pepper, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of feta. Add another layer of eggplant to each stack, followed by additional layers of basil solids, tomato rounds seasoned with salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon of feta. Top stacks with a final layer of eggplant and remaining feta.
6. Place the baking pan on the grill and close the grill cover. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the stacks are heated through and the top layer of feta has softened. Transfer stacks to serving plates, drizzle with the reserved basil oil, and garnish with fresh shredded basil.
Recipe Credit: Epicurious.