Grilled Eggplant Layered with Tomatoes & Feta! This is part one of a twofer, and both thanks, once again, to Diane Kochilas's Mediterranean Grilling. First up is what I call grilled eggplant sandwiches. This is the second time we've made these and I must say, for a guy who hates tomatoes unless they are pureed beyond recognition and seasoned with 10 pounds or oregano, I love them...kid you not. My family is probably wondering what's wrong with me. I'm putting grilled tomato slices: in my mouth.
For this easy appetizer, or if you are a light weight dainty eater: "dinner", you need:
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 firm, ripe tomatoes cut into 4 rounds each
salt and pepper
12 large-ish fresh basil leaves
12 slices of feta (ask me how long it took me to find a block of feta vs crumbles)
Preheat your grill to direct heat, medium high.
Oil your grate.
Brush your eggplant slices with olive oil. Place over direct heat and grill for about 6 minutes, giving them the old flip half way through.
Brush the tomato slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Like their friend eggplant, grill them for about 6 minutes and flip them half way through. Be sure to not cut them too thin, because at this stage one of three things will happen: You will remove them off the grill, you will scrape into sludge with your spatula, or you will push them through the grates to a fiery death. You have been warned.
Here's a little bit of blasphemy: preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Yeah, your oven...please forgive me. Oil the bottom and sides of six shallow baking dishes, about 3-4 inches in diameter. Fill each dish in the following order: eggplant slice, tomato slice, basil leaf, and feta slice. Repeat and top with another eggplant slice. Press down so the stacks aren't higher than the rim of the dishes. Bake until the cheese melts, approximately 12-15 minutes.
To serve, flip and turn out each dish on a medium plate and drizzle with olive oil. Enjoy!