Dave and I were fortunate enough to honeymoon in Italy, and eat our way through Tuscany, Portofino, and Rome. And the first thing we did when we got back to the States was try to recreate the most delectable eggplant dish we had both ever eaten in our lives (while sitting on an outdoor patio with aluminum awning that was only big enough for the two of us). This, my friends, comes pretty darned close. The trick to this recipe (and all simple recipes) is to choose only the highest quality ingredients possible. And, to keep the cheese at a minimum so that the eggplant and olive oil flavors really shine. It’s earthy and nutty and seriously smooth as buttah, baby!
4 small graffiti eggplants, thinly sliced (no more than 3 inches in diameter)
1/4 cup premium extra virgin olive oil (quality counts)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, finely shredded
Sea salt, to taste
Organic extra virgin olive oil nonstick spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat electric griddle or large frying pan to medium heat. Spray with nonstick oil and cook eggplant working in batches. Sprinkle with sea salt and cook for 5-6 minutes. Spray the topside of the eggplant with additional olive oil spray, flip and cook an additional 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare four oven-safe ramekins with a drizzle of olive oil. Grate cheese using a microplane grater to achieve finest grate possible, and set aside.
Using prongs, layer cooked eggplant into ramekins, spreading to cover the entire diameter. Between each layer of eggplant, alternate Parmesan, mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil, and repeat until all eggplant is utilized.
Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Using a butter knife, edge each ramekin to release eggplant from the sides. Place a plate on the top of the ramekin and turn it over, allowing the stacker to fall onto the plate. Top with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and serve.
Yield: 4 Stackers
Diet: Vegetarian, Gluten Free