I shared these Grilled Eggplant and Mozzarella Stacks with Pistachio Basil Pesto over on my @thechutneylife IG story last week and everyone seemed to go bonkers over it!! With that said, I’m so excited to have this recipe up for you guys to try because I enjoyed it THOROUGHLY. Many of you asked for easier, lighter, weeknight meals or lunches and this is definitely one of them! It doesn’t require tons of chopping or fuss and the pistachio pesto is just such a nice addition of flavors compared to usual weeknight meals. You’ll leave the dinner table feeling satisfied, but not like you can’t move, lol!
I also thing this recipe pairs so well with my garlic chutney (which I seriously just cannot stop putting on everything!!) so I’ve also included the recipe for it here and if you like some additional spice definitely add it on !!
How to Grill Eggplant:
- First off, make sure you cut your eggplant very evenly so it cooks evenly ! I used just a knife but you could use a mandolin too. I actually took measuring tape and marked out one inch measurements because I wanted my eggplant to be thick enough that it would really hold up in a stack. Eggplant shrinks a lot as it cooks too, fyi.
- Use a grill pan. Here is the link to my favorite Grill Pan! I’ve had this for years and its held up great! You could also roast the eggplant slices in the oven and let them bake until soft, or just on a skillet
I hope you all enjoy this recipe ! As always if you make it, be sure to tag me on @thechutneylife so I can see all of your creations 🙂
Grilled Eggplant & Mozzarella Stacks with Pistachio Basil Pesto
Yield 3-4 Servings
1 Large Eggplant cut into 1 inch slices (roughly 12 slices)
2-3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
16 oz packet of mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp red chili flakes
⅛ tsp salt
Pistachio Basil Pesto:
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
3 cloves garlic
20 leaves of basil
½ cup grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
1 serrano pepper or jalapeno pepper
1 tsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup or more of high quality extra virgin olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
Salt to taste
Prepare the Pesto:
In a food processor combine the pistachios, garlic, basil, serrano and pecorino romano until well blended. Once it is blended slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream until the contents of the food processor look like they are moving around well and look more like a sauce instead of crumble. (this might require extra oil).
Transfer into a bowl, check for salt (pistachios if salted and cheese will already add salt) add black pepper, red wine vinegar and set aside.
Grill the Eggplant:
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Add about 1 tbsp of oil and once the pan is hot, add 4 eggplant slices , or however many fit comfortably in the pan. Let the eggplant sear for about 2 minutes on high (so you get nice grill marks) and then turn the heat to medium and let it cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Flip the eggplant slices, and let them cook for about 4-6 minutes on medium to medium low heat until the eggplant looks soft, and the center looks more translucent. You want the eggplant to be just fork tender- not overcooked or undercooked.
Once the eggplant is cooked, transfer it to a plate and sprinkle with about ½ tsp of the seasoning mix all over both sides of the eggplant. Continue the process until you’ve grilled all of the eggplant.
Assemble the Stacks:
Place the oven on low broil setting.
On a rimmed baking sheet or any oven proof casserole dish, lay down the eggplant slices about 1 inch apart and spread with about 2 tsp of the pesto. Top with a slice (or two ) of the mozzarella cheese and place in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese begins to slightly melt.
Once the cheese has melted, remove the eggplant from the oven and make the stacks.
Eggplant, Pesto, Mozzarella, Tomato Slice, Eggplant, Pesto, Mozzarella, Tomato Slice, Eggplant, Pesto Mozzarella. Garnish the top the stack with basil and drizzle with garlic chutney and transfer to a serving platter or plate.