Sicilian Eggplant Stacks on Labour Day Weekend

by Michelle

Without a doubt, eggplant is my favorite vegetable. I made a valiant attempt at growing it this summer. To date, I have only seen lovely little purple blossoms and given that it is September 1, it is not likely that I will be picking eggplant from my garden.

While I was in Halifax last week, I made a pit stop at Pete’s Frootique in Bedford and found some gorgeous Sicilian eggplant. When Ralph and I were in Sicily, every trattoria that we ate at had their own version of eggplant parmigiano and eggplant Norma on the menu. I adored every bite that I took!

This recipe is rustic at it’s finest! The eggplant is fried in olive oil until soft and buttery on the inside and a little crispy on the outside. The Italian plum tomatoes are hand ripped. The fresh mozzarella is sliced thick and the basil is left whole. The result is fantastic!

It’s Labour Day weekend – the end of the summer . This dish is a perfect, decadent way to celebrate everything that is wonderful about summertime.

Sicilian Eggplant Stacks

serves 4

preheat oven 400*F

1 Sicilian eggplant, sliced 1/2″thick – typically the eggplant should be salted to draw out the bitterness but I skipped this step and the result was perfect.

28 oz can best quality imported Italian plum tomatoes, ripped open by hand

1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced in half then each half sliced in 1/4″ slices

hand full of fresh basil leaves

1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced

extra virgin olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Place enough eggplant in hot oil to make one layer.

Fry eggplant until golden brown then turn over and repeat until second side is golden – add additional olive oil if necessary.

Repeat process until all of the eggplant is golden brown – set aside.

In a shallow casserole dish, alternate a slice of eggplant, a ripped open plum tomato, a sliver of garlic, a basil leaf and a slice of mozzarella – make 2 stacks and repeat until all of the ingredients have been used up.

Pour the remaining liquid from the tomatoes around the base of the stacks.

Place in oven and bake until liquid is bubbling and cheese is melted and browned on top – about 30 minutes

Remove from oven and allow to set up for 5 minutes before cutting.

Garnish with sea salt and serve.

Thanks for reading.