EGGPLANT TOWER

A quick meal that packs a huge punch in flavor, health properties, and visual eye candy!

Eggplant Towers are fabulous year-round. The Portobello mushrooms, as well as the eggplant takes on a very meaty texture, making it both filling and delicious.

There are several steps in the preparation but they are all the same steps and are fast to do. A few extra dirtied dishes are about the only drawback in the preparation. But, who cares. They are quickly tidied while the eggplant bakes for thirty minutes!

Try to purchase eggplant, mushrooms, and tomatoes all at about the same width. It makes for a more uniform presentation when stacking the layers.

The amount needed will depend on how many people and how many towers served to each. To get an idea, each tower has:

-        1 slice of mushroom

-        2 slices of eggplant

-        2 slices of tomato

-        2 slices of cheese

You will have to eye-ball the items when you purchase them to see about how many you slices you can get out of each.

 Preparation:

-        Eggplants – ½ inch thick, round slices. Place on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let set for 30 minutes while you prepare the next steps. In 30 minutes, brush off salt (or lightly rinse and dry)

-        Tomatoes – ½ inch thick,  round slices

-        Portobello mushrooms – cut off thick stem and leave in a ½ inch thick, round slice

-        Mozzarella – ½ inch thick, round slices

-        Fresh Basil – some for sauce and some to sprinkle on top after baking

-        Olive oil – for basting, for sauce, for browning

-        Butter – 4 tablespoons (or more) for browning

Having all the items prepped and ready to brown and assemble makes the prep time go quickly.

The tower is stacked (see video above), covered, and baked.

Below are the ingredients and instruction for the dredging flour, and the sauce.

Dredging Ingredients:

-        Flour – 1 ½ cups all purpose flour

-        Barley flour – ¾ cup

-        Smoked paprika – 2 tablespoons

-        Smoked salt – 1 teaspoon (optional)

-        Thyme – 1 tablespoon

Place dredging ingredients in a flat dish or bowl and mix well.

Sauce Ingredients:

-        Basil – 2 tablespoons finely chopped

-        Garlic – 2 cloves finely chopped

-        White wine – ½ cup

-        Olive oil – ¼ cup

Place sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix will.

Now that all the preparation is completed let’s get this dish ready to bake!

In a hot frying pan, place about 2 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Baste a little olive oil onto both sides of the eggplant, and then dredge eggplant in flour mixture on both sides, and lightly brown. Replenish oil and butter as needed.

Lay the browned eggplant out on parchment paper or a paper towel lined cookie sheet.

Baste mushrooms, dredge in flour, and brown in oil and butter.

Time to stack the tower.

On a baking sheet, preferable lined with parchment paper, stack like this:

-        Mushroom

-        Eggplant

-        Tomato

-        Cheese

-        Eggplant

-        Tomato

-        Cheese

Drizzle the sauce over each tower. Cover and bake.

350 for 30 minutes.

Place a sprig of basil on top of each tower before serving.