I'm realizing that my blog posts are becoming deliciously sweet, as in "dessert sweet" that is. So, I want to shift gears for a little and share some savory recipes with you. Let's see how long that'll last, before I have a relapse and fall back into my favorite activity, which is truly baking.
Serve these eggplants stacks as an elegant appetizer, for lunch, or even as a light dinner. There are many variations out there, most of them Italian inspired. They usually include tomato sauce, basil, and Provolone or Mozzarella cheese. The Greek flavors in this version got great reviews from my family. The simple and healthy dish is a combination of classic Mediterranean ingredients such as eggplant, ripe tomatoes, oregano, mint, and Greek Kasseri cheese. Serve it with olives, hot pita bread, and maybe some Greek yogurt on the side.
2 eggplants, sliced into 1 inch slices
4 tomatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh mint, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup Kasseri cheese, grated
Lightly salt eggplant slices and place into a colander. Let sit for about 30 minutes. The salt will draw out excess moisture and remove some of the bitterness of the eggplant. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry.
Preheat grill or panini press according to manufacturer's instructions and coat with cooking spray.
Combine olive oil, garlic, oregano, mint, and black pepper in small bowl. Brush eggplant and tomato slices with olive oil mixture. Place on grill and cook for about 2-4 minutes over medium heat until eggplant is soft and has nice scorch marks. Cook tomatoes for only 1-2 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside.
Preheat oven to 370 degrees. Assemble stacks on a lined baking sheet. Start with a slice of eggplant, then a tomato slice, and top with grated cheese. Repeat three times. Your last layer should be a generous amount of cheese. Except for salting the eggplants in the beginning there is no additional salt in this recipe, since the cheese has a slightly salty flavor already.
Let eggplant stacks heat through in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.