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Eggplant Zucchini Tower Image

This time of the summer the eggplant is so beautiful and plentiful. I love trying something new with a blend of summers flavors. Eggplant & Zucchini Towers make a wonderful side dish or stuff between some ciabatta bread for a great sandwich!  
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4- 6 garlic cloves, minced
Small bunch of basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 sweet onions, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
5 tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 zucchini, halved crosswise and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup coarsely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (This is made from Sheep milk, so allergies to cow’s milk is allowed)

Preheat an oven to 425°F.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 6 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, basil, oregano and parsley and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat.

Rub the bottom and sides of a sheet pan with olive oil. Place 8 eggplant slices in a single layer in the pan and season with salt. Top each with 1 tsp. onion mixture and 1 tomato slice and season with salt. Top each with 1 tsp. onions and 2 zucchini slices and season with salt. Top each with 1 tsp. onions. Repeat the layering 2 more times, ending with the zucchini. Drizzle each vegetable stack with 1 tsp. olive oil.

Bake until the vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle each stack with cheese and bake for 7 to 10 minutes until melted. Let the vegetables rest for 5 minutes before serving.

For more:

Recipe by Cindy Karas from “Gourmet Sensations, Healthy Food Alternatives”
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