So my theme for this summer? Garden vegetables, and tons of them. Well, actually, that goes for pretty much every summer after I reached driving age and finally developed a taste for the ground-grown powerhouses. I mean, what’s better than a tomato straight from the vine? Maybe a peach plucked straight from its mothering tree, but let’s not compare summer fruits and vegetables. They all consume a large part of my diet during the warm seasons. Here in the North East, there’s no better time to take advantage of fresh produce. It’s during these times when the garden stands by to provide massive amounts of culinary inspiration.
My weapon of choice for butchering up all these garden-grown veggies? As I relayed in one of my more recent posts, roasting’s gripped my kitchen this summer, which unlike the veggies I’m firing up, hasn’t always been a summer trend of mine. Maybe if I came across this technique earlier, I would’ve found an adoration for vegetables at a younger age. Sure, it heats the up kitchen, which isn’t always ideal, particularly when a lack of air conditioning is in the picture. But it draws so much sweetness out of veggies, you’d swear they were moving on over into the fruit kingdom. After this Roasted Veggie Sandwich, only a ton more roasted vegetable creations were to come churning out of my oven. And as it moves into fall, there’s absolutely no reason not to fire up the oven.
Equipped with eggplant, tomatoes, and basil from my weekend farmer’s market gig, I decided on making these Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Stacks. I was out of cheese due to the mass amount of tomato, basil, and mozz. sandwiches I’ve never-endingly been consuming, so I swapped out the typical veggie stack cheese with a layer of onion instead. Cheers to effortlessly making a dish vegan. There’s no need for cheese when sweet, caramelized onions are up for use. These stacks make for a fresh, but full-flavored appetizer or side, packed with flavor in every layered direction. Bon appétit!
- -2 medium eggplants, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- -2 medium onions, sliced slightly thinner than the eggplant
- -3 tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- -Extra virgin olive oil, for coating
- -1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (try to use a high-quality balsamic, as they tend to be sweeter)
- -10-20 basil leaves (If basil leaves are large, slice in half)
- -Fresh ground salt and pepper
- -4 cloves garlic, sliced
- -Balsamic reduction, optional
- Preheat oven 425F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly coat with olive oil. Spread eggplant, onions, and tomato across baking sheet. Wedge sliced garlic into tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil to lightly coat each slice. Drizzle balsamic on top of onions and eggplant. Sprinkle contents of entire baking sheet with salt and pepper.
- Bake 20 minutes. Flip eggplant. Bake another 15-20 minutes, or until eggplant are tender and onions are browned. Remove from oven.
- Layer eggplant, onion, tomato, and basil, by placing eggplant on the bottom, followed by a leaf of basil, followed by an onion round, followed by another leaf of basil, and topped with a tomato slice. Lightly drizzle balsamic reduction, if using. Serve.