With all the talk about Lady Gaga’s meat dress at the MTV Video Music Awards, I found myself craving something a little… vegetarian. Excuses aside, there is no better way to take advantage of late summer produce than these Heirloom Tomato, Eggplant and Fresh Mozzarella Stacks! The light and tangy Arugula Salsa Verde is a great accessory to this fresh and funky salad.
Heirloom Tomato, Eggplant, and Fresh Mozzarella Stacks
This recipe can also be found in our Soups, Salads, and Pasta Recipes Section!
2 medium eggplants (2 lbs.) cut crosswise into 16 slices
3 Tablespoons kosher salt (or rock salt)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, cored and cut into 16 slices
1 1/2 lbs. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 24 thin slices
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Arugula Salsa Verde:
1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano leaves
1/2 cup arugula
1/2 cup basil
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1 salt-packed anchovy, bones removed, soaked in 3 Tablespoons of milk for 10 minutes
1 Tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 lemon for juicing
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450ºF.
Roast Eggplant: Lay the eggplant on a cooling rack over a sheet pan that is covered with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and allow the slices to drain for 30 minutes to eliminate the bitterness. Turn over the eggplant and salt the other side and let sit for 15 minutes. Brush off the salt, pat dry. Brush the eggplant generously on both sides with olive oil. Lay eggplant on a parchment or silpat-lined sheet pan. Roast the eggplant until tender and lightly browned, 15-20 minutes.
Prep Tomatoes and Cheese: Slice tomatoes and place on a plate and same for the cheese. Sprinkle cheese and tomatoes with salt. Set aside.
Make Salsa Verde: Put marjoram, arugula, mint, parsley, garlic, anchovy, capers, lemon zest and juice in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add olive oil and pepper and pulse until smooth.
Assemble Stacks: Put a cooked eggplant slice on a sheet pan. Drizzle 1 teaspoon salsa verde on the eggplant. Then place a mozzarella slice on top of the eggplant. Drizzle 1 teaspoon salsa verde on top of the cheese. Then place a tomato slice on top of the cheese. Drizzle 1 teaspoon salsa verde on the tomato. Then place a mozzarella slice on top of the eggplant. Drizzle 1 teaspoon salsa verde on top of the cheese. Then place a tomato slice on top of the cheese. Drizzle 1 teaspoon salsa verde on the tomato. Top the tomato with a slice of mozzarella. Repeat until you have 8 stacks. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and the tomatoes and eggplant are heated through.
Serve: Transfer the stacks to small salad plates and drizzle a circle of salsa verde around the stack and a little on top. Garnish with a sprig of mint or parsley and serve.
Check out our Soups, Salads, and Pasta recipes section for more great light meal ideas!