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Grilled Eggplant Mozzarella Stacks with Pesto and Tomatoes | Get Inspired Everyday!

Grilled Eggplant Mozzarella Stacks with Pesto and Tomatoes


  • Author: Get Inspired Everyday!
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
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Ingredients

  • 2 small eggplants, 2 pounds total weight
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage or 1 Teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 18 ounce ball of fresh mozzarella
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, 8 ounces

Homemade Basil Pesto:

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/41/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves, 3 1/2 ounces

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill over high heat for about 10 minutes, or until it reaches 450ºF.
  2. While the grill heats, cut the ends off the eggplants, and slice them into 1/2″ slices. Mix together the olive oil, garlic, chopped herbs, and sea salt. Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant with the garlic herb olive oil.
  3. Slice the mozzarella into 1/4″ rounds, and then cut each slice in half. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half or quarters if they’re large, before setting them aside.
  4. Place the eggplant on the grill and immediately lower the heat to medium high, maintaining a temperature of around 400ºF. Grill for 4-6 minutes per side, or until the eggplant slices are completely tender with nicely browned grill marks.
  5. When the eggplant is tender, remove it from the grill and layer it together with the sliced mozzarella in a 9″ cast iron pan. Place the pan back on the grill and grill for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is molten and browning on the edges.
  6. While the eggplant is finishing on the grill, make the pesto by placing all the pesto ingredients into a blender in the order listed. Start with 1/4 cup olive oil and add a bit more if needed while blending. Blend starting on low, and using the tamper keep lightly pressing the basil downwards, increasing the speed as you go. Keep blending until a chunky pesto forms. Remove the pesto from the blender, and place half of it into a sealed container with the least amount of air space possible. This recipe makes 2 cups, so I use 1 cup for the eggplant, and place the remaining 1 cup into a 1 cup/8 ounce mason jar with a lid. A brown layer will form on the remaining pesto which is due to oxidization, just scrape it off and use the bright green pesto underneath within 2-3 days.
  7. When the eggplant and cheese have finished cooking, serve it immediately with the halved cherry tomatoes and the fresh pesto.
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