What makes these napoleons special is the breadcrumb topping which adds a heady herbal crunch to the mix.
To create canapé portions of this recipe, switch to baby eggplants and large cherry tomatoes for absolutely adorable results. Just make sure to slice the eggplant a little thicker so it does not fall apart when grilling. Spear the stacks with a toothpick to hold together and top with mint or basil leaf.
MAKES 6 STACKS (TO SERVE 6)
MAKE THE MARINADE
1 CUP extra-virgin olive oil
3 TB fresh basil
2 TB fresh oregano
2 TB fresh mint
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients.
GRILL THE EGGPLANT
1-2 large eggplants, sliced into 1/4” rounds (18 slices total)
Generously brush marinade onto both sides of the eggplant. Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill eggplants until cooked through and nicely charred, about 3 min each side. You might have to do in stages. Place onto a paper towel to soak up excess oil and allow to get to room temp.
MAKE THE BREADCRUMB MEDLEY
2 TB EV olive oil
1/2 CUP panko breadcrumbs
1/8 CUP mixed herbs (basil, mint, oregano, lemon verbena), minced
zest of 1 lemon
In a small bowl toss everything together.
MAKE THE STACKS
fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4” rounds (12 slices total)
EV olive oil
1-2 tomatoes, sliced into 1/4” rounds (12 slices total)
Garnish: ribbons of mint, parsley, or a basil leaf
Start with a slice of the eggplant, sprinkle a little breadcrumb medley, top with cheese, drizzle with olive oil, then add a slice of tomato. Repeat and add extra slice of eggplant on the top. Add some more of the breadcrumbs, and garnish with ribbons of mint, parsley, or basil leaf (optional).