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Eggplant Time Again

Chef Linda Weiss
Photograph: Chef Linda Weiss

About 40 years ago a friend and neighbor at the time gave me a wonderful eggplant stack recipe that I have used many times over the years. The recipe was one used on an old Berkeley County, South Carolina hunting plantation that my neighbor’s best friend owned. It is a basic and simple dish with eggplant, onion, tomato and cheese. My friend told me that it was served on every visit she made there.

I really like it and make it often for myself, but today I made a new version and I like it too.  I will share both recipes with you, plus a Panini recipe that I also enjoy. The sandwich is made with seasoned slices of baked eggplant, and fresh mozzarella on herb seasoned French bread.  I loved the crusty French bread, the sweetness of the eggplant and the melted mozzarella cheese when it was finished. The sandwich is so simple yet so flavorful.  Let me know what you think.

Eggplant is a versatile, meaty summer vegetable. And, speaking of versatile, you can be as versatile as you like with these recipes. Cut the eggplant thinner or thicker, and you can do the same with the cheese, onion, and tomato.  Cut the vegetables to your preference.

Enjoy!

 

Eggplant Stack
(Old recipe)

1 slice eggplant cut ½ inch thick
1 slice onion, cut ½-inch thick
1 slice tomato, cut ½-inch thick
Salt and pepper on layers to taste
1 slice American cheese, cut to desired thickness

Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slice with salt and place on paper towels for about 15 minutes before using. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a non-stick baking dish or heavy skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, place a slice of eggplant, then place the slice of onion on top of the eggplant and the slice of tomato on top of the onion. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender. Remove from the oven and add the slice of cheese to the top. Bake or broil until cheese is melted. Serves one.

 

Eggplant Stack
(New recipe)

1 slice eggplant cut ½ inch thick
1 slice onion, cut ½-inch thick
1 slice tomato, cut ½-inch thick
1 slice fresh mozzarella cheese cut to desired thickness
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic or to taste
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slice with salt and place on paper towels for about 15 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Mix the olive oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use. Place the eggplant slice in a heavy skillet or non-stick baking dish sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Brush the eggplant top with the olive oil-herb mixture. Place the onion on top of the eggplant, and brush with the olive oil-herb mixture and now do the same with the tomato. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender. Remove from the oven and place the mozzarella cheese on top, broil until cheese has melted. Serves one.

 

Eggplant and Mozzarella Panini

Olive oil mixture-
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic or to taste
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Mix together all above ingredients and set aside until ready to use.

2 slices eggplant, each ½ inch thick
1 ½ to 2 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
French baguette cut into 4-inch section

Salt both sides of eggplant slices and place on paper towels to rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Brush the eggplant lightly with the olive oil-herb mixture and place in a heavy skillet or baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Brush the eggplant lightly with the olive oil mixture. Place in the oven to bake until tender, about 25 minutes.

Cut the French baguette section in half horizontally. Brush the inside of both sides with the olive oil-herb mixture. Add the cooked eggplant slices, and slices of the fresh mozzarella cheese. Put the sandwich together. Brush both sides of the outside of the sandwich with plain olive oil. Grill on a heavy griddle pressing down hard on the top side with the heel of your hand. (Be careful- do not burn yourself- what I did was place the sandwich on the griddle, press it down flat and then turn on the burner). Place a heavy skillet or brick wrapped in foil on top of the sandwich. When sandwich is light brown and crispy on one side turn it over and cook the other side. One hungry person serving.


Follow Linda Weiss and Anne K Moore as they blog at Diggin’ It at the Christian Science Monitor website.

Visit Chef Linda at her website:  www.cheflindaweiss.com
and her blog:  www.lindaallaboutfood.blogspot.com
Linda’s first book, Memories From Home, Cooking with Family & Friends
is available at Amazon.com or at her website.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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