On a warm summer Monday I was debating what to make for dinner. Our twelve and ten year olds each had a friend staying for dinner and a sleepover, so trying to find a meal that would please all four and us seemed impossible. The children were happy to hear that dinner for them would be hot dogs, which made for easy cooking.
My fiance had a long day at the office, so I knew I had time to prepare a different meal for us. Having shopped at a farmer’s market in Boston the other day, I had some eggplant that could be used. With it being a summer day and both of us watching what we eat in preparation for our nuptuals in a few weeks, I wanted the meal to be on the lighter side. I didn’t want a heavy sauce, but I needed to add some other flavors to the eggplant.
Grilling the eggplant seemed the best and healthiest option for cooking it. Layering it with mozzarella and basil would give it a variety of tastes and textures. For a final touch, I would drizzle a balsamic vinegar reduction over it to add more depth to the flavor.
With a message sent that my fiance finally was on his way home from work, I was able to get the dish prepared almost in perfect timing for his arrival. Served with Tortilla Wedges and a glass of cabernet sauvignon, this was a perfect late dinner for two.
- 3 small eggplant, cut into 1/2″ rounds
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4″ rounds
- fresh basil, finely chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar reduction*
- Preheat grill. If using a gas grill, turn heat to medium-low.
- Brush one side of eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place on grill, and cook for 2 minutes.
- While cooking, brush olive oil and add salt and pepper to second side.
- Flip eggplant slices and grill for another minute.
- While this side is grilling, sprinkle fresh basil (amount depends on your taste preferences) on eggplant.
- Top each eggplant slice with a mozzarella slice, close grill cover, and let cook for 1 minute.
- Remove stacks from grill.
- Drizzle balsamic reduction on each stack, and serve immediately.
- Balsamic Reduction
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Place in small saucepot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir continuously. Once the vinegar has thickened to the consistency of a syrup instead of a liquid, remove from heat immediately.
- Makes approximately 1/3 cup.