I spent last summer in Japan, and while there, I picked up the July issue of NHK’s “Kyou no Ryouri” (Today’s Cooking). In it, there was a recipe for eggplant and tomato stacks. I made it, and while it was good, it was a bit too greasy for me, and required deep frying, which I don’t like to do. So, I decided to adapt the recipe to better suit my tastes and cooking preferences. Here’s what I came up with:
2 small zucchini, cut into 40 slices about 1/4 inch thick
4 plum tomatoes of the same diameter as the zucchini, cut into 40 slices about 1/4 inch thick
mozzarella cheese, cut into 60 dime-sized pieces (or you can use shredded)
4-6 leaves of basil, cut into 40 strips
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Prep all the veggies, and then preheat a grill pan spritzed with some olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini coins and cook until well-marked on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
Spritz a Pyrex pan with olive oil.
For each stack, put down: one slice of zucchini, a piece of cheese, a tomato, a piece of basil, a zucchini, a piece of cheese, a tomato, a basil, and top it off with a piece of cheese. Make 20 stacks (a serving is 4 or 5 stacks).
Put the Pyrex into the preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, making sure that the cheese melts. Serve with a salad, and some bread or pasta to make a complete, summery fresh meal.