Eggplant—the name alone is enough to scare away the faint of heart.
When I was little and my mom loved to make Eggplant Parmesan. I refused to eat it. I hated it; the black, bitter skin, the tasteless interior.
But, like many other “adult” foods, I simply had to rediscover it for myself.
Last summer, I made it my personal mission to come up with an eggplant recipe that I adored. After many (many) misses, I put together this.
Grilled Eggplant Napoleon
Easy, delicious, a little time-consuming, but perfect for a special night with friends and family. It can be assembled well in advance, and popped into the oven while you’re having cocktails on the deck.
Per person you will need:
One medium eggplant, peeled, sliced into 1 inch rounds and grilled.
To grill: brush both sides of eggplant with extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and dried oregano to taste. Place on a hot grill, flip after 5 or so minute—you’re looking for grill marks—then do the same on the other side.
- 1 large ripe tomato, cored and sliced into thick rounds
- 5 Kalamata olives, finely chopped or 2 tbl tapenade, any kind
- 4 slices fresh mozzarella
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
- dried oregano to taste
- dried basil to taste
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- more olive oil for drizzling
- fresh basil for garnish
In a greased, high sided baking pan, build your eggplant stacks. (Use a pan that is small enough so the stacks press against each other.)
Start with one eggplant round, a tomato slice, a mozzeralla slice, all seasonings, and a sprinkle of parmesan. Do that twice and top stacks with olives or tapenade and a drizzle of olive oil.
You can prepare your Napoleon and leave it covered in the fridge up to 8 hours ahead of baking.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.
*Other cheeses can work well too. Play with feta, goat or gorgonzola or a combination of two or more. Also try substituting olives for chopped sun dried tomatoes.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: garlandcannon at Flickr