Eggplant parmesan always tops my list of favorite foods. The oozing mozzarella cheese, silky cooked eggplant and sweet, savory tomato sauce meld together to create an irresistible dish. I’m always looking to find a simpler, healthier way to enjoy my favorite dish regularly. Cue: grilled eggplant parm stacks. This dish came about after a decent amount of experimenting to create the perfect, easy dish. Buy a few simple ingredients, and you are essentially good to go.
Chances are, two, if not three of these ingredients are already in your kitchen. Purchase one regular eggplant, fresh mozzarella (I’m a big fan of your local version, it might cost a bit more, but it’s totally worth it), and fresh basil.
Begin by slicing the eggplant into one inch slices, no need to be exact. Generously salt each side of the eggplant and place them on paper towels to absorb the moisture. This step is crucial, because soaking up the natural water in the eggplant will allow for the vegetable to grill more easily.
After a few minutes, dark rings should fill the paper towels where the eggplants sat. Flip over the eggplant and repeat on the other side. Then lightly brush each side of the eggplant with extra virgin olive oil. Place the eggplant onto a preheated grill (I use a George Forman, thanks NYC limitations).
Allow for the eggplant to cook on each side for about 5 minutes, flipping three times. I like to create a cross-hatch pattern on the eggplant to insure that each piece has cooked all the way through.
Remove when golden brown and place back onto a paper towel to remove the excess oil.
I choose to use a premade tomato sauce, but like to doctor it up a bit to enhance the flavor. I like my eggplant parm a little spicy, adding red pepper flakes, garlic powder and dried parsley to the sauce.
Now, here’s the fun part. Staking. You can make the stacks as large or small as you would like, but it’s all about getting the layers right. I like to keep them simple, single stacks. First place the grilled eggplant onto a foiled sheet pan. Next, add the tomato sauce to lightly coat the eggplant.
Add two pieces of fresh basil. Feel free to keep the leaves whole or add additional pieces to cover most of the sauce.
Slice the fresh mozzarella, should be about 1/4 inch thick. Adding more or less mozzarella contributes to the ‘healthy’ nature of the dish. I choose to keep it pretty thin, but wide enough to cover the entire eggplant.
Put the oven on ‘Broil’ and place the eggplant stack inside. Allow to cook until the mozzarella begins to bubble and have a light golden color.
Add a slice of fresh basil on top as garnish, and enjoy!
Happy eating. This eggplant parm stack is super easy, pretty healthy and completely delicious. This can also be made for one or many. Enjoy!