Roasted Tomato & Eggplant Napoleons

Deceptively elegant, these eggplant and tomato stacks, flavored with basil and oozing with goat cheese, are another item on my top 10. I say deceptive because they’re really easy to both cook and present- and they taste fantastic. I started making these in the beginning of last summer, after brainstorming ideas for my garden’s tomato and eggplant crop not to go to waste, and have served them often, especially when having friends over to share a meal. The reaction each time has been identical: “Wow! So fancy!” and then once they taste it, I’m pressed to reveal my secret ingredient.

So the best thing about this recipe is that there isn’t any secret anything, it really just is a relatively short list of ingredients with an easy assembly process! So let’s go.

1 large eggplant
2 large tomatoes
soft goat cheese
dried basil (or fresh, if you have it)
garlic powder
sugar
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt
pepper

Set your oven to broil & line two baking trays with foil. Slice your eggplant into circles of a medium-thickness; the vegetable should yield around 5-6 good slices. Lay them out on one of the baking trays, and drizzle with olive oil. Eggplants do this terrible thing where they can soak up vast quantities of oil without much of an obvious effect- so keep care to pay attention to the amount of oil you are using.

Shake a little of your vinegar across them as well (just a bit, though! for depth. If you use too much, it will alter the overall taste of the napoleon too much. I like to put my finger half-way over the bottle’s mouth to regulate this). Add a good shake of garlic powder. S & P. If you’re using dried basil, you can add some at this point if you’d like.

Put the tray into the oven, and roast until beginning to brown- this only takes a few minutes under the broiler, so keep an eye close! When the tops look done, take the tray out, and flip all the pieces over with two forks, or a spatula. Put under the broiler for another 1-2 minutes, and then remove, and set aside.

Slice your tomatoes so they each yield at least 4 slices each. Lay the slices out on the second baking tray. Prep the same way you prepped the eggplant: olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, S & P. Then tip less than 1 tsp of sugar into a palm, and very carefully sprinkle just a pinch over the tray. Put under the broiler, under the fruit begins to look soft, and is becoming a deeper hue, 5-10 minutes.  If you wish, you can always turn these slices and roast them an extra few minutes, but it’s not necessary.

Push the eggplant slices to one side to make room on the first tray. PAM, just in case. Take the two largest eggplant slices and lay them down about an inch apart on the foil. For each of them: take your goat cheese and spoon out just a little onto each of the slices, spreading it around so it may melt a bit. Top with one or two of the tomato slices (they get smaller during the roasting process). If using fresh basil, lay a leaf on top of these pile. If dried, add a small pinch. Then close with an eggplant slice that is next to the biggest in size. Repeat this process under the eggplant slices are gone- this should make two napoleons with at least 2, but usually 3, levels of eggplant. Add another tiny scrap of cheese to their tops and put back in the oven for a minute or two- just until the cheese is melted.

How much goat cheese? Depends how much you’d like. I usually use about 1 oz (about ¼ cup) per napoleon. You can use more- just keep in mind how many calories you’re adding, so you don’t go overboard!

I know this isn’t a great picture, but we’ll just have to wait until the next time I make these, and hope the waiting eaters can control themselves a tad longer!

Serves 2.

Meal Cost:
1 large eggplant- $3.50
2 farmer’s market tomatoes- $0.50
4 oz goat cheese- $5.00
dried basil- pantry
garlic powder- pantry
sugar- pantry
balsamic vinegar- pantry
olive oil- pantry
salt- pantry
pepper- pantry

Total Calories:
1 large eggplant- 150
2 large tomatoes-  50
1oz goat cheese- 80
(at most) 1 tsp sugar- 15
1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar- 12
2 tbsp olive oil- 240

Wow, eggplant is getting pricey! Good thing this dish maximizes your pantry items. OKAY SO: the total meal cost for two people is technically $6.50! But if you take into account the cost of the whole package of goat cheese (the smallest I could find), it’s around $9. I suggest you don’t take that into account, as $6.50 is a lot friendlier a number, PLUS you can totally use the leftover 2oz of cheese for something else totally delicious. Such as THIS.

Number of calories per person is around 275!

Questions? Comments?

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