Weather forecast: It will be one billion degrees, and wicked humid.
Me: Yessss! Let’s roast vegetables and boil water for pasta, so my kitchen can be one billion and one degrees.
Sometimes when you don’t have a grill because you live in the city, you have to take one for the team (that would be all of you guys on Team Booyah) to create something extra fabulous to go with your leftover pesto. Yesterday, I said a prayer as I turned my oven on to pre-heat at 500°F, because it was already 93°F in my kitchen. I knew I had to create something beyond stellar to make it worth standing in that furnace for an hour. Guess what? I did it! I think I also lost 10 pounds in water weight in the process, no biggie.
I wanted to think of a way to showcase the stunning heirloom tomatoes I picked up at the farmer’s market, and somehow combine them with the last little bit of pesto I had, without distracting from the fresh tomato flavor. The answer I landed on seemed simple: combine the fresh tomato and pesto with grilled portobello mushroom caps and grilled eggplant! YES! Except…I don’t have a grill.
The easy way to do this would be to grill the portobellos and eggplant, but since that wasn’t an option, I roasted mine instead. (I recommend you grill yours).
Next Level Portobello & Eggplant Stacks
- 4 portabello mushroom caps, destemmed
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 large heirloom tomato
- Leftover Ang’s Basil Pesto
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Step One: Fire up your grill or pre-heat oven to 500°F. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Brush both the portabellas and the eggplant with olive oil on both sides.
Step Two: Grill or roast your veggies. Eggplant will take about 20 -25 minutes, and portobellos will take 5 – 8 minutes.
Step Three: Create your stack! Stack portobellos, eggplant, and tomato. Drizzle with extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar, if desired. Sprinkle a bit of freshly ground pepper and sea salt over stack. Top with a small dab of pesto.
Step Four: Serve as is, or add a stack right on top of a bowl of pasta and pesto. Enjoy! 😀
I served my Portobello and Eggplant stacks with leftover Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and kamut wheat fusilli, and I made a second batch of Spicy Tempeh. I also sprinkled a little bit of Vegan Parmesan Cheeze on top for good measure. It was absolutely delicious. Because of how beautiful and impressive the stacks looked, these would be perfect as apps for a dinner party or dining al fresco with your boo. Lots of bang for your buck here: you’ll be able to pick up fresh tomatoes and eggplant at your local farmer’s market. Both eggplant and tomatoes will still be in season from now until about October (in New England), so keep that in mind if you’re grill-less like me and are relegated to roasting the veggies. The leftover pesto adds just enough flavor impact to this dish, while still allowing the in-season tomato and eggplant to shine. YUM!
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! Buon appetito! 😀
With warmth (but not like, 93°F and humid – that’s just too much),