Today I'm sharing an amazing (and easy!) recipe adapted from Real Simple. My mom and step-father are visiting us on the lake for a few days and we made this appetizer the first night they arrived. I have mentioned before that my Mom and I love to cook together. We drink wine and giggle and obsess about every little detail to make sure it comes out perfectly. And did they ever. You could easily make this as a meal with a side salad but we chose to make it for an appetizer for cocktail hour.
- 4 large slices country bread (1 inch thick)
- 2 medium eggplants, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- 12 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 8 slices
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil
- Balsamic Vinegar for drizzling (optional)
Heat grill to medium. Once it's hot, clean the grill grate with a wire brush.
Brush the bread and eggplant with the olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill the bread until browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side; rub with the garlic. Cut each slice in half crosswise and set aside. Grill the eggplant slices, turning occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Place the mozzarella on top of the bread and grill, covered, just until warm and beginning to melt. Top with the eggplant, tomato, and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and optional balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
We didn't have the balsamic but I would definitely recommend adding it if you like it. I think it would elevate the taste of the dish.