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Sunday, July 12, 2009

grilled veggie & portabello napoleans

passing farm stands in jersey.. it’s difficult to not pick up such beautiful produce.  colourful eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, herbs.. all at their peak of freshness, nothing better than summer. 
a few weeks ago, I had dinner anthony & dominick’s place (lucy’s grill, margate, nj)  on the beach and I had dom’s appetizer which inspired this.  
grilled veggie & fresh mozzarella napolean
   4 portabella mushrooms, stems removed & wiped (or quick rinsed) clean
   1 lg red pepper, roasted and peeled
   1 eggplant, sliced into rounds 1/4” thick
   1 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/4” thick 
   1 lg tomato, sliced 
   lg ball fresh mozzarella
   fresh basil
   4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
   extra virgin olive oil

   3 T. balsamic vinegar
   1 t. Dijon mustard
   8 T. olive oil
   1 t. garlic, minced
   honey, to taste
In a bowl add vinegar, mustard, garlic and honey... while whisking add olive oil in a slow drizzle.

herb paste for portabellas:
   bunch of fresh basil and parsley, chopped fine (1/2 c. chopped)
   4 cloves of garlic, minced
   1/2 t. salt
   cracked pepper
   olive oil
  In a bowl mix herbs, garlic, S+P with olive oil into a thick, loose paste. 
1. Prep and slice veggies.  
2. Prepare Herb Paste (above) and prep portabellas...
Using your hands, rub portabellas top side with olive oil.  Place top-side down on a baking tray, so each mushroom lays flat.  Divide the herb paste evenly between the portabellas and spread thickly over entire surface.  drizzle with additional olive oil, if they look dry anywhere.  (they will absorb this as they sit)  Set aside. 
3. Roast peppers...
Over a gas flame, char the skin of the red peppers.  When completely blistered and black, set in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let sit 15 minutes, then remove skins and seeds from peppers.   (If you don’t have a gas stove.. cut peppers in  1/2, discard seeds and lightly drizzle with olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet, covered with foil in a 375º oven for 40 minutes.)  Remove and place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap.  Let steam for 15 minutes, remove skins
 Place peppers in a container and cover with olive oil.  Set aside.  (Note: usually I make more than just one pepper.  Save time roast a few at once.  They are great to have on hand for sandwiches, pasta, pizza.. whatever.. during the week.  Any extra place in dish and cover with olive oil. Keep in fridge.)
4.  Grill....
for eggplant and zucchini...
  Place sliced eggplant and zucchini in a plastic bag with 1-2 T olive oil. shake bag to coat the veggies.  Heat grill pan to high, place eggplant and zucchini, turning after 3-4 minutes (when there are grill marks on each side)   Place in a bowl and set aside. (oven method.. Foil or silpat, spray with cooking spray.. bake at 425º til tender)
for portabellas...
  place top side down on med. hot grill.  Grill 3 minutes each side, remove from heat.

5.  to assemble...
Place portabella on plate as base, 
top with thin slice of mozzarella, 
season with S+P and sprinkle of basil,
layer of roasted pepper,
layer of eggplant,
season with S+P,
layer of zucchini,
season with S+P,
slice of fresh tomato,
season with S+P and drizzle of vinaigrette,
and top with fresh mozzarella.  (at this point you could broil to melt top of mozz, but totally optional.)
Finish with S+P, drizzle of vinaigrette and basil

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