Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Stacks
- 3 large globe eggplants, each about 1 pound, cut crosswise into ½-inch thick slices (16 slices)
- ½ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating and drizzling
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 16 large tomato slices, each ¼ inch thick
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
- Finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼-inch slices (16 slices)
- In a large bowl, toss the eggplant slices with kosher salt. Using your fingertips, evenly distribute the salt on both sides of each slice. Place the eggplant slices in a large colander and set aside for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 deg.
- Rinse the eggplants under cold running water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant slices with the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, coating evenly.
- Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Grease the foil with a thin coating of California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil. Arrange the slices in a single layer on 1 baking sheet. Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on the second baking sheet. Sprinkle the garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper over the tomato slices.
- Roast the tomato slices, without turning, until they are very soft and just beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Roast the eggplant slices, without turning, until they are tender and well browned, 20 to 30 minutes. (You may need to rotate the baking sheets 180 degrees to ensure even cooking.) Remove from the oven and let the tomato and eggplant slices cool just until you can handle them with your fingers.
- For each stack, start with an eggplant slice and top it with a tomato slice. Top with 2 slices of the mozzarella, and then another eggplant slice, followed by a tomato slice. Drizzle with California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil and serve warm.