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
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.