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Grilled* Eggplant Stacks with Pine Nut, Arugula, and Melon Salad

Active Time: 35 minutes / Cook Time: 8-10 minutes / Total Time: 35-40 minutes

Makes 2 servings

grilled eggplant stacks.jpg

Ingredients:

Eggplant:

  • 1 small, firm eggplant (12 oz.-1 lb.)
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, cored and cut into 4 thick slices
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into 4 thick slices
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Pine Nut, Arugula, and Melon Salad:

  • 3 cups arugula
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 cup cubed ripe melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.—save the rest for breakfast tomorrow)
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Small pinch of fine sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high*.
  2. Cut eggplant into 6 (1/2” thick) rounds, starting at the bottom, large end. Place eggplant in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon salt; let rest 10 minutes in the sink.
  3. While the eggplant sits, in a large bowl, whisk Balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of salt until combined. Reserve 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette. Toss the remainder with arugula and melon, and top with pine nuts.
  4. Pat eggplant slices dry and brush both sides of slices with 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Grill* eggplant 4-5 minutes per side, or until a crust forms and the eggplant softens. Remove from the grill.
  5. Assemble an eggplant stack by layering a slice of eggplant, a slice of tomato, a basil leaf, and a slice of cheese, a second slice each of eggplant, tomato, basil, and cheese, and top with a final slice of eggplant. Repeat for the second portion.
  6. Divide the salad onto two plates, along with one eggplant stack. Drizzle each stack with ½ tablespoon of vinaigrette, and enjoy.

*If you do not have a grill or grill pan, you can roast the eggplant on a baking sheet at 425° for 5 minutes per side, or until softened.