Were eggplants part of your garden plan? Here’s a tasty recipe for an Italian appetizer that will help you utilize your harvest.
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 eggplant, sliced about ¼ in. thick
• 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
• 2 eggs, whisked
• 1 cup of Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
• 8-oz. fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced about ¼ in. thick
• 1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced about ¼ in. thick
• Handful of fresh basil leaves
To make your first Eggplant Caprese Stack, slice the eggplant and lay the slices out in a single layer on a paper towel. Sprinkle the slices with salt and let them sit for about 10-15 minutes, until they start to release water.
Pre-heat a large sauté pan to medium-high and add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Pat the eggplant slices dry with another paper towel and prepare the egg and breadcrumb dipping stations.
Place whisked eggs with a bit of salt and pepper in a bowl together and place the breadcrumbs separately on a large plate. Dip the eggplant slices one at a time in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs. Shake off the excess breadcrumbs and place on a sheet pan.
After coating the eggplant slices you are ready to fry the first batch in your heated sauté pan. Saute the slices for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Place them on a paper towel lined sheet pan or plate once they are finished cooking. Once you’re done frying the first group of eggplant slices, you can begin to fry the second batch. Be sure to add another 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the pan before frying the second batch.
With all the frying done, you are ready to assemble your stacks. Begin with a layer of fried eggplant, add a layer of mozzarella, a basil leaf, and a tomato slice. Repeat this step 2 or 3 times depending on how high you’d prefer your stack to be.
Once you are finished assembling your Eggplant Caprese Stack, drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil over each stack and finish with a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm, or at room temperature!
Yields: approx. 4 servings