I truly am trying to do this Meatless Monday thing. You would think it would be easy since I’m a veggie-loving gal who grew up eating pasta 5-7 nights a week. But I guess things get hectic and before you know it, you’re eating grilled chicken every other night and all your noodles are speckled with sausage. To be honest, that diet sounds pretty darn delicious. But as we all sort of know, we need to make our veggies the star not the supporting actor.
So here is a recipe I made a few weeks back when I wanted something hearty, grilled and healthy. I served it as an appetizer and followed it up with some roasted Cod. I thought it would add some excitement to yours and my Meatless Monday nights. To me, add the word appetizer to any night and I’m thrilled! So give it a whirl, enjoy a first course sans meat and enjoy every last cheesy bite.
Grilled Eggplant Stacks
1 large eggplant, ends cut off and cut into ¼ inch rounds
¼ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¾ C whole milk ricotta cheese
¾ C shredded mozzarella
½ C freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tomato, thinly sliced
2 TBS dried parsley
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
S & P: salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes, optional
1. Preheat grill over medium flame.
2. Brush both sides of sliced eggplant with olive oil, and then liberally season both sides with S & P. (you may have extra, just fine for drizzling later).
3. Grill eggplant on both sides for a combined 8-10 minutes or until golden and a bit charred, remove from grill and transfer to cutting board.
4. Lay out 4 slices eggplant, top each with 1 heaping TBS ricotta, pinch of parsley and 1 TBS mozzarella
5. Lay another piece of eggplant on top of previous layer, and then top that with 1 heaping TBS ricotta, pinch of parsley and 1 slice of tomato.
6. Top the tomatoes with fresh basil, 1 TBS mozzarella and some Parmesan.
7. Sprinkle each stack with S & P, red pepper flakes and a slight drizzle of olive oil.
8. Place stacks on grill pan or directly over grates and grill for about 5-8 minutes over low flame, or until oozy and golden.
Gina Glazier is a born and raised Jersey Girl. She recently earned her Master’s degree in Reading & Literacy and is currently a teacher. Gina lives with her husband, Matt, who is her number one fan and shares in her passion for the culinary arts, minus the cooking part! Her “culinary life” became a reality a few years back when she was chosen to be a guest of The Star Ledger’s Munchmobile. This ignited Gina’s desire to be around food and all its counterparts all the time, meaning restaurants, cookbooks, TV shows, cooking, etc. Gina says her “biggest and most monumental experience” was being a part of The Star Ledger’s Pizza Patrol two years ago where she traveled the entire state, eating at 3, 4, sometimes 5 pizzerias a night for just about 6 months! You can check out her Hungry Teacher adventures, on her blog www.ahungryteacher.blogspot.com. – See more at: http://www.jerseybites.com/the-team/#sthash.mMapSN2X.dpuf