July 25, 2007

Stack ‘Em Up

Why are they stacked? Because 3-D is better than 2-D, that’s why. I’ve had trouble with eggplant before, it’s a tricky vegetable. My repeated attempts to make baba ghanouj have failed and I think part of my problems may be due to the nature of the eggplant itself. Eggplants have struggled with an identity issue their whole lives. Even eggplants don’t know how to cook themselves properly. This stems from a number of reasons; to begin with, it’s called eggplant and that’s misleading. Last time I checked, only dinosaur eggs are that big and even they aren’t purple. And even if you can get over the fact that eggplants don’t look like eggs or act like them either you still have to figure out how to cook them.



Due to their identity problems, eggplants have developed a certain bitterness that seems only to be alleviated by sprinkling them with salt and letting them sit while the bitterness seeps out. It’s a detox process. After you’ve cajoled the bitterness out of them, eggplants become needy. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize this and so they partner eggplants up with oil. That’s asking for trouble. At this point in their life, eggplants will suck up oil and hold onto it like there’s no tomorrow. They’re like little sponges, thirsty for love, which they’re happy to receive from the friendly oil. But that’s a toxic relationship because an excess of oil will turn people off eggplant so it’s best if you help the eggplant avoid heartache and rejection by keeping him away from life-sucking oil. I suggest spraying your detoxed eggplant with just a touch of oil and then sending them to a warm climate for a tropical vacation. By this, I mean the BBQ. What’s not to like? It’s warm and there are pretty zucchini hanging out there for the eggplant to mingle with. In my experience, the eggplant and zucchini will usually end up hooking up and that’s all the better for you. Once zucchini and eggplant have sandwiched themselves together, you need only to top the pair with goat cheese, reduced balsamic vinegar and a nice basil leaf for a tasty, tasty appetizer. Eggplant emerges victorious and everybody wins.



Eggplant and Zucchini Happy Stacks


1 eggplant, sliced into rounds

1 zucchini, sliced into rounds

½ cup balsamic vinegar

Goat cheese

Basil leaves

Cooking spray


Slice the eggplant and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Preheat the BBQ and spray both the eggplant and zucchini lightly with cooking oil. BBQ, flipping once, until you have nice grill marks on each side. In the meantime, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until vinegar has thickened slightly. Just before the eggplant are done on the BBQ, top with a slab of goat cheese so that it has time to melt. Remove from the grill and stack the eggplant on top of the zucchini, drizzle with vinegar and top with a basil leaf. Serve immediately.



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19 comments:

Deborah said...

I have never cooked with eggplant before - I just learned a lot!

This is an appetizer I could go for!

Valli said...

Sounds good to me. The best marriage is eggplant, zucchini and cheese!!!

Belinda said...

I love zucchini, but like you said, have never really been able to get eggplant to behave in a way that would make me crave it. This blend of eggplant, zucchini and cheese, however, could do the trick! :-)

T.W. Barritt said...

Bravo! Your eggplant and zucchini stand tall!

Rachel said...

they are adorable!

SteamyKitchen said...

happy happy happy stack indeed!

btw, whats up with Blogger making you type 11 characters for word verification??? This is my 5th attempt to get the combo correct!!!

&*@^$*!&^$!@&^$! <--thats what I typed in on try number 4. not correct. but those where my sentiments.

photogirl said...

i love eggplants and i've never thought of doing this before. lovely! i'm gonna give it a whirl!

joey said...

I actually love eggplants very much :) Everything you have said about them is true...they need to be handled with a lot of care and love and then they will love you right back! Those are really yummy-looking happy stacks!

Have you ever tried eggplant chips? Thin slices dredged in flour then fried in hot oil (hot and fast so they don't absorb too much)...drain on paper towel, then serve with a drizzle of honey. I know this sounds weird but it works for me :)

The TriniGourmet said...

hehehe :) aww ... :)
eggplants have always been nice to me, maybe it's call i call them melongene (melon-JEN) ?:) maybe that name confuses them less? Give it a try :D

Janet said...

That looks like the perfect appetizer for an outdoor party!

Margaret said...

Only you could make eggplant and zucchini look so good! Not forgetting the goats cheese and basil leaf, of course.

s'kat said...

I feel happy just looking at those cute little stacks. And isn't everything better with goat cheese?

Maria said...

I just grilled eggplant and zucchini, great minds think alike:)

Hilda said...

I love both grilled eggplant and zucchini and I made something that was like bite-sized eggplant parmigiana recently, so I am keeping this recipe...

Inne said...

What a great idea, Brilynn. I just happen to have a courgette and aubergine (as we call them here) lying around and I was wondering what to do with them, so this has given me some inspiration - thanks!

Anonymous said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm eggplant/zucchini. I'ma gunna attempt that sucker out!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Mmmmm. I make this combination often, and also grill up onions and red peppers and we have it on crusty bread. Favorite summer dinner of ours. The balsamic reduction on it rocks!

Kevin said...

With an ingredient list that includes eggplant, zucchini, goats cheese and balsamic vinegar you just cannot go wrong. They look like little pyramids of tasty flavour.

Erin said...

What great info! I made eggplant parm this weekend and as I haven't really had that much experience using eggplant in my cooking I was shocked at how much olive oil it absorbed. I definitely think you're right on about grilling being a better preparation method. PS: Welcome to the WellFed Network!