Eggplant Parmesan Stacks
It's best to use medium eggplants with a uniform diameter so the resulting slices will be similar in size. You can substitute 1 1/4 cups Simple Tomato Sauce for the sauce in step 2.
- 18 eggplant rounds (each 1/4 inch thick and at least 3 inches in diameter; about 3 medium eggplants)
- Coarse salt
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 6 plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh oregano, plus leaves and sprigs for garnish
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and torn into small pieces
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus shavings for serving
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season eggplant with salt. Heat 1 cup oil (about 1/4 inch) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, so as to not crowd the skillet, fry eggplant rounds, turning once, until soft and pale golden, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook 20 seconds (do not let brown). Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes break down and are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in oregano and basil. (Alternatively, stir oregano and basil into 1 1/4 cups Simple Tomato Sauce.)
Place 6 slices of eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet. Top each slice with 1 tablespoon sauce and a few pieces of mozzarella, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons Parmesan. Repeat layering twice.
Bake until heated through and cheese is bubbling, about 12 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with oregano and Parmesan shavings.