Eggplant Mozzaella Tower

imageI never knew what to do with eggplant. Even the name sounded weird to me. “EGG”plant? Is it supposed to taste like eggs? is it going to be the texture of eggs? just yuck! Little did I know, when I went on a Caribbean cruise the chef made this dish that just made your taste buds sing! When I asked the server what was in the dish he told me eggplant. I was in total disbelief. This heavenly piece of art before me was EGGPLANT!?! After that I was hooked, I had to have that recipe. Now I am sharing it with you.

What you will need:

  1. Marinara sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped bail
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Eggplants
  • 2-3 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumb
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tomatoes sliced 1/2 in thick
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For marinara, in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm oil and sauté onion for 4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and sauté, stirring continually. Do not brown. Add tomatoes and herbs and season with salt and pepper. cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes. set aside.

season eggplant slices with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour, shaking off the excess. next dip each slice in egg, then in the bread crumbs. set aside

*culinary note*

Most eggplants produce a bitter-tasting alkaloid. A method for removing this unwanted flavor is to sprinkle the slices with salt and let them rest in a colander for 1 hour. Afterwards, rinse the slices under cold water, gently squeezing out the moisture. Pressing on the slices also collapses the eggplant’s air pockets, reducing the absorption of oil during frying.

In a large skillet heat vegetable oil over high heat until very hot.Sauté eggplant one slice at a time until golden brown.

Place each cooked slice on a baking sheet. top each with a tomato slice and sprinkle with mozzarella. bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and cheese is melted.

In a small saucepan, simmer vinegar until its reduced by about 2/3 and reaches syrup consistency. set aside to cool.

To serve, stack three eggplant/tomato slices on each plate. garnish with basil. spoon marinara around eggplant tower and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Serves 6

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