These eggplant and cheese stacks with its fresh tomato and basil sauce showcase summer's finest vegetables. With its generous portion of ricotta and cheddar filling, this can be a satisfying main dish.
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut eggplant crosswise into 18 slices. Pat dry with paper toweling. Spread out more paper toweling for blotting. Mix together flour, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in shallow dish or onto waxed paper.
2. Heat 1/4 cup oil in each of 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Dredge each eggplant slice in flour to coat both sides.
3. Fry 2 or 3 slices of eggplant per skillet until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to paper toweling to drain. Repeat until all slices are fried, adding more oil as needed.
4. Mix cottage cheese or ricotta, Cheddar cheese, parsley, marjoram and remaining pepper in a bowl.To assemble stacks:
5. In large baking dish, place 1 slice eggplant. Spread on 3 tablespoons cottage cheese mixture; top with eggplant slice, 3 more tablespoons cottage cheese mixture and final slice of eggplant. Repeat with remaining cottage cheese mixture and eggplant to make 6 stacks. Sprinkle with crumbs.
6. Bake, uncovered, in 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Serve immediately with Fresh Tomato Sauce. Makes 6 servings.
1. Mix together in bowl tomato, seeded and diced; sliced fresh basil; balsamic vinegar; olive oil; salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Makes about 1-1/2 cups sauce. Makes 6 servings.