You can grill the eggplant rounds up to a day in advance, then assemble the eggplant, tomato and mozzarella “stacks” at the last minute. To make the eggplant and tomato stacks look symmetrical, use eggplant and tomatoes with approximately the same diameter.
Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Stacks
Makes 6 servings
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium eggplant (3/4-1 pound), cut into 6 rounds about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
6 teaspoons prepared pesto
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, each cut into 3 slices about 3/4 inches thick
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 6 thin slices
6 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat grill to medium high, or place a grill pan over medium-high heat until hot.
Use 2 teaspoons oil to brush both sides of eggplant slices; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Grill the eggplant slices for 5 minutes. Turn, and continue grilling until tender and marked with grill lines (3 to 5 minutes more). Transfer to a large platter.
Spread each eggplant slice with 1 teaspoon pesto. Top with a slice of tomato, a slice of mozzarella and a basil leaf.
Drizzle vinegar and the remaining tablespoon of oil over the towers. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
To make ahead: Prepare through Step 2, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Recipe nutrition per serving: 145 calories; 11 grams fat (4 grams saturated, 6 grams monounsaturated); 17 milligrams cholesterol; 7 grams carbohydrate; 0 grams added sugars; 6 grams protein; 3 grams fiber; 323 milligrams sodium; and 309 milligrams potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C, 15 percent daily value.
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 high-fat meat and 1 fat.
EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Find it online at www.eatingwell.com.