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What’s in Season – Florida Eggplant

June 9, 2011

I confess…I love eggplant! It’s one of those vegetables that I enjoy in a variety of ways. Perhaps my favorite way is eggplant Parmigiana, where it is breaded, fried and baked in marinara with cheese. However, I like it sauteed, pureed into dips and grilled also. Several years ago Chef Justin did a “how to” on Florida eggplant. It can be found here.

Florida eggplants are harvested from September through June, and are grown mostly in South and Central Florida. The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory lists 1 cup of eggplant cubes as having only 20 calories, .16 gram of fat, and 2.8 grams of fiber.

How do Grilled Florida Eggplant and Fresh Mozzarella Stacks sound? They look amazing, and are easy to prepare. The next time you’re thinking about dinner, why not try this innovative eggplant recipe?

Grilled Florida Eggplant and Fresh Mozzarella Stacks

nonstick vegetable oil spray
8 slices eggplant, 1/2-inch thick
4 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1/4-inch thick (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
4 large bunches arugula or spinach
2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Spray grill with oil spray and prepare grill (medium heat). Spray eggplant on both sides with oil spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Place 1 mozzarella slice atop each of 4 eggplant slices; top with remaining eggplant slices. Grill until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add arugula, tomatoes and basil; toss. Divide among 4 plates. Top each with 1 eggplant stack.Yield
4 servings

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