Before I even get to the directions for this snack, I have to just share a funny story that this photo totally reminded me of. Many years ago Hank and I were at a charity event for a organization Shirley chaired. The whole set up was outside- walking around to various food tables and trying different items from local Scottsdale restaurants. We all stopped at one of the tables and I got what looked like a tortilla chip piled high with a delicious looking, chunky salsa. Tomatoes, onions, some peppers, really juicy looking. I got one for myself, and one for Hank. He already had his hands full with some other plates so I just fed him the chip with the salsa. Umm, except it wasn't SALSA at all...it was Ahi tuna mixed with a bit of pico de gallo... which is probably THE most disgusting thing you could eat as a vegetarian. And even worse for Hank because he can't stand the look, taste, etc. of fish. I don't think I'll ever forget the look on his face when he realized what he was chewing. So funny and so terrible all at once. He has been vegetarian since he was 12 so I felt really bad about my mistake but luckily after he kind of threw up and washed his mouth out one million times, I was forgiven. ;) The reason I even bring this up is because the tomato on top of these stacks reminded me of the way the Ahi looked, and the story just popped into my head. So random, but had to share!
And now...onto the directions. I shared this on my fun little health and fitness Instagram account earlier too.
2-3 cloves garlic
Slice up your eggplants and sprinkle with salt, then let sit to tenderize for about 30-45 minutes. While the eggplant is tenderizing mince 2-3 cloves of garlic and sauté in a pan with olive oil. Set aside. At the end of the tenderizing time turn your oven to 450°. Line 2 baking sheets with tin foil. Rinse off the tenderized eggplant with cold water and dry thoroughly. Place the sliced eggplant on the first baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil then flip over, then brush with balsamic vinegar and season with freshly ground pepper. Put into the oven. These will bake for about 20 minutes total. While the eggplant slices are baking, drizzle olive oil on the second tinfoil covered baking sheet. Slice your tomatoes and place them on the baking sheet. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and the garlic you previously cooked. When you have 5 minutes left on the eggplant, pop the tomatoes in the oven. When the timer for 20 min goes off take both sheets out of the over and let cool until you can handle them. Then just make into stacks- eggplant on bottom, then fresh basil, then the tomato, etc. If you have fresh mozzarella use that too! Drizzle with balsamic and serve. Delicious!