Monday, February 16, 2015

Eggplant Caprese Stacks

Where has the time gone.  Seriously, I always have really good intentions about getting a post completed today.  Everyday is "today" and I guess you know the rest of the "good intention" story.  

We're in sunny California and so grateful to be out of the gripping cold that has this firm grip on the north east.  My brother arrived the other day and brought with him what he calls his "new favourite cookbook".  He's determined to cook every recipe in the book.  Maybe we'll see a "Wheat Belly, The Musical" opening on Broadway.  He's already  tried several of the recipes and suggested that we would absolutely love them.  We took the challenge and decided to try one for dinner.

We were pleasantly surprised.  My brother, who is affectionately known as the health nut of our family always has new natural remedies for everything that ails.  When he brought his new favourite we all admitted a little skepticism.  I take it back - this book is the bomb!  Who even knew that ground flax works as efficiently as bread crumbs.  Now I know!!  I would make this recipe again - it's wonderful and we're going to continue with the recipes in the book.

Makes 4 servings

1 eggplant cut into eight 1/2" slices
1/4 cup ground golden flaxseeds
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning Mix (see recipe below)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tomatoes, each cut into four 1/2" thick slices**
16 large fresh basil leaves
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 4 equal slices

Lightly grease a baking sheet.

In a shallow bowl or dish, combine the flaxseeds, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the seasoning mix, and salt.  Place the egg in another shallow bowl or dish.  Dip a slice of the eggplant into the egg until both sides are moistened.  Dredge in the flaxseed mixture to coat.  Place the breaded eggplant on a plate.  Repeat until all the slices have been coated.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil until hot.  Cook the eggplant, covered, for 8 minutes, turning once, or until browned on both sides and tender when pierced with a fork.  If needed, add 1 Tbsp of the remaining oil during cooking  Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.  Place the tomato slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and sprinkle each with 1/2 Tbsp of the remaining Parmesan.  Broil for 4 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove and set aside.

On 4 plates, place the 4 largest eggplant slices.  Top each slice with a broiled Parmesan tomato, 2 basil leaves, and a mozzarella slice.  Top with the remaining eggplant slices, a Parmesan tomato and 2 basil leaves.

Italian Seasoning Mix

2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 Tbsp dried marjoram
1 Tbsp dried garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and store in an air tight container

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