Grilled Vegetable Towers
- Six 1/2-inch-thick slices country-style bread
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into sixteen 1/4-to-1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup goat cheese, at room temperature (4 ounces)
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 16 jarred sun-dried tomatoes, drained
- Special equipment: 1 3/4-inch round cookie cutter; 8 toothpicks
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
Using a pastry brush, brush the bread on both sides with 1/3 cup oil. Using a 1 3/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 4 circles from each slice of bread. Grill the bread rounds until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes each side.
Toss the eggplant rounds with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and season with the salt. Grill until tender, about 3 minutes on each side.
In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese and lemon zest until smooth. Spread about 3/4 teaspoon of the mixture on 8 grilled bread rounds. Place an eggplant round on each and top with a sun-dried tomato. Repeat the layers and top with the remaining bread slices. Gently press the layers together. Secure with toothpicks and serve.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis