TAMPA - Eggplant is a vegetable that is not cooked as often as it should be. Try these eggplant stacks as a really low cost vegetarian entrée. Serve it alongside a little marinara sauce, it makes a great lunch or dinner.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 6 (3 stacks each)
5 small eggplants
Salt for eggplants
2 large red onions
3 Tablespoons unseasoned breadcrumbs
8 oz. buffalo mozzarella
8 oz. roasted red pepper
8 oz. fresh goat cheese
½ oz. fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2/3 cup parmesan
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
5 Tablespoons olive oil
16 oz. jar marinara sauce (you can make it spicy if you wish by adding some hot sauce to taste)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Slice eggplant into 36 ½ inch slices. Place on a sheet tray and sprinkle with salt. Let stand about 10 minutes. Wipe off salt and moisture with a paper towel.
3. Slice onions thinly. Place onions in a sauté pan with a little bit of oil over high heat. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir occasionally until onions are soft and lightly caramelized. Add breadcrumbs.
4. Slice buffalo mozzarella into 18 slices.
5. Cut red pepper into 18 squares.
6. Place 18 slices of eggplant on a sheet tray. Smear some goat cheese on the eggplant. Place a small mound of caramelized onions on the goat cheese. Place a square of red pepper on the mozzarella. Place a basil leaf on top of the red pepper. Put a slice of buffalo mozzarella on top of the basil. Top stack with a slice of eggplant.
7. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until just cooked through.
9. While they are baking, mix the parmesan, breadcrumbs and olive oil until moistened.
10. Remove from oven. Turn oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Top each eggplant stack with a tablespoon of the breadcrumb mixture. Return the stacks to the oven and heat for another 5-10 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
11. Meanwhile, heat the marinara sauce.
12. Remove eggplant from oven. Serve 3 stacks with marinara sauce.