Served with a salad and a simple side dish of pasta with marinara sauce, these tidy little stacks of roasted eggplant, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil pesto make a really satisfying meatless meal.
Eggplant Napoleons with Pesto
- 1 medium globe eggplant, 1 to 1-1/4 lbs
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 or 2 ripe tomatoes
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- Balsamic reduction, optional – see below
For the pesto:
- 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed (stems removed)
- 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pine, pignoli nuts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and coat a shallow baking pan with nonstick spray. Cut the eggplant into 3/8-inch rounds and arrange on the prepared pan. Brush both sides of each round with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the eggplant until tender, 12 to 14 minutes, remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
- While the eggplant roasts, slice both the tomatoes and the mozzarella into 1/4-inch slices.
Tip: Using a serrated knife to slice the fresh mozzarella makes it much easier to get rounds of uniform thickness.
- Next, prepare the pesto. Add the basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, pine nuts, salt and a few grinds of black pepper to the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is the consistency of a thick paste.
- Spread about 3/4 teaspoon of pesto over each slice of eggplant and top with a slice of mozzarella. Build 4 Napoleons by layering slices of tomato in between the eggplant and cheese layers, finishing each with a slice of eggplant and cheese on the top.
- Bake the Napoleons until the tomatoes are softened and the cheese is melted and bubbly, 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic reduction.