YIELD: 12 servings
3 (1 lb. each) eggplants (or 1½ lbs. each elongated eggplants and large zucchinis)
⅓ cup olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper, as needed
⅔ cup sun-dried tomato tapenade or pesto
1½ lbs. pre-sliced mozzarella, packed in water
3 large red bell peppers, stems removed, quartered lengthwise, seeded and roasted
½ cup (2 oz.) grated Parmesan or American Grana cheese
1. Slice eggplant (and zucchini if using) lengthwise on mandolin or by hand, ¼" thick. Brush one side of slices lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2. On hot nonstick grill pan or well-seasoned griddle over medium heat, place eggplant slices oiled side down. Grill each side until golden brown. (This step may be done ahead.) Reserve chilled if for later service.
3. Spread one grilled eggplant slice with tapenade or pesto. Top with second eggplant slice. Layer with mozzarella slices (cut to fit if necessary). Cover mozzarella with a red pepper quarter. Repeat layering with eggplant slice, tapenade spread and final eggplant slice. (Alternate eggplant with zucchini slices if desired.) Brush top layer with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan or American Grana cheese. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients to create 12 “lasagna” stacks.
4. Arrange stacks in shallow baking pan. Broil 6" from heat source until cheese has melted and vegetables have warmed through, about 5 minutes.
Photo and recipe: BelGioioso Cheese, Inc.