Eggplant Towers

Moderate
Serves 4
Ingredients: 

8 slices eggplant (1/2" thick, about 4" diameter)

4 slices eggplant (1/2" thick, about 3" diameter)

- kosher salt and freshly ground Kowalski's Black Peppercorns

1/2 cup Kowalski's Extra Virgin Olive Oil (approximately), divided

4 slices red heirloom tomato (1/2" thick, about 4" diameter)

4 slices yellow heirloom tomato (1/2" thick, about 3" diameter)

4 slices green or multicolor heirloom tomato (1/2" thick, about 3" diameter)

1 cup shredded cheese mixture (such as Parmesan, Asiago and fontina)

- balsamic reduction (such as Cucina Viva Classic Glaze)

- Kowalski's Fresh Basil leaves, for garnish

Instructions: 

Evenly sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with 2 tsp. salt; let stand 20 min. Wipe excess salt from eggplant and dry slices with a paper towel. Completely but lightly coat eggplant with oil. Season to taste with pepper. Grill directly over medium heat, covered, turning several times until browned and tender when pierced with a fork (6-10 min.). Meanwhile, arrange tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper to taste. Top tomatoes evenly with cheese; drizzle very lightly with oil. Place under a preheated broiler until cheese browns and is melted and bubbly (about 2 min.). Drizzle serving plates with oil and balsamic glaze. Arrange 4 large eggplant slices on plates; top each with red tomato rounds. Add another layer of large eggplant, then yellow tomato; repeat with smallest eggplant slices and smallest tomatoes. Drizzle towers with oil and balsamic glaze; garnish with basil, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  • When assembling towers, use the largest slices on the bottom and use smaller slices as you stack up to prevent them from falling over.
  • Multicolored heirloom tomatoes are recommended for their visual appeal. You can substitute any color tomatoes.
  • You can substitute our recipe for Balsamic Syrup for the balsamic reduction.