Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacks are a summer luxury; fresh, seasonal, and delicious to the last bite. Serve as a quick, easy appetizer, light meal, or side for grilled steak, chicken, or fish.
Why You Will Love this Recipe
Aaah, Summertime! Gardens are bursting, Farmers' Markets are in full swing, and –Glory Be! – tomatoes taste like... tomatoes again. Don't you just love it!?!
This time of year, we aim to create dishes that highlight the bright, fleeting flavors of summer, and these Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacks are just the ticket! Uncomplicated in every way, they are deeply satisfying, and delicious to the last bite.
Tomato stacks are also an excellent way to feature the intense flavors and stunning beauty of late summer heirloom tomatoes. While you don't have to use heirloom tomatoes to make these tomato stacks, using them will definitely elevate the recipe to another level.
This recipe can be served as a quick, easy appetizer or light meal, and the bright, fresh flavors are perfect for anytime you need a light side to balance a heavier main dish (e.g., grilled steak, chicken, fish, etc.).
What Goes into this Recipe
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
★ Tomatoes: We love to make these tomato stacks featuring late summer heirloom tomatoes; however, you can use any ripe, meaty tomato.
★ Eggplant: There are many varieties of eggplant. For this recipe, we recommend using American or Italian globe eggplants, also known as aubergines (i.e., the big, meaty, purple kind).
★ Basil: Use regular sweet (Italian or Genovese) basil for this recipe. Basil should be bright green and freshly picked.
★ Dry Mustard: If you don't have dry mustard, substitute in one tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
How to Make this Recipe
In a small bowl, whisk together Vinaigrette ingredients. Set aside.
Slice eggplant horizontally into ⅜-inch to ½-inch rounds.
Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and lightly season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Preheat an outdoor grill (or a grill pan on the stove). Grill the eggplant rounds over medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through.
Set grilled eggplant slices on a parchment-covered baking sheet and allow to cool completely.
Slice tomatoes horizontally into ⅜-inch to ½-inch rounds.
Set one tomato layer on a plate. Top with grilled eggplant, and then drizzle with a tablespoon of vinaigrette and and a sprinkle of fresh basil.
If the eggplant slices are smaller across than the tomato slices, use two or three slices for one layer. Likewise, if the tomatoes are smaller, use more slices for the tomato layers.
Repeat to make a second layer.
Top with a final tomato layer, and generously garnish each stack with crumbled feta and fresh basil.
FAQs & Expert Tips
Most tomatoes produced for stores are hybrids, grown for appearance and graded into specific sizes. Heirlooms (heritage tomatoes in the UK) are non-hybrid tomatoes; often the "ugly" tomatoes at the Farmers Market. They have deep cracks and irregular shapes, and come in a stunning array of colors. The most important distinction, however, is found in the flavor: heirloom tomatoes are grown for flavor.
Tomato stacks are delicious served all by themselves, as a light lunch or dinner. They also make a tasty appetizer or side, balancing out heavier dishes like steak, chicken, or even pasta with their light, fresh flavors.
There are two ways to go about making tomato stacks ahead of time.
You can prep the eggplant slices and vinaigrette a day ahead; or you can go as far as assembling the stacks a day ahead of time, waiting to add the final feta and basil garnish until just before serving.
More Garden Fresh Recipes
Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacks
- 1 Barbecue Grill or stovetop grill pan
- 2 - 3 large tomatoes ; use heirloom varieties if possible
- 1 large eggplant or two small
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 handful fresh basil ; chiffonade
- In a small bowl, whisk together Vinaigrette ingredients. Set aside.
- Slice eggplant horizontally into ⅜-inch to ½-inch rounds. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the eggplant rounds over medium on outdoor barbecue (or in a grill pan on the stove) until tender; about 10 minutes. Turn halfway through. Allow to cool completely.
- Slice tomatoes horizontally into ⅜-inch to ½-inch rounds.
- Set one tomato layer on a plate. Top with grilled eggplant, and then drizzle with a tablespoon of vinaigrette and and a sprinkle of fresh basil. Repeat to make a second layer. Top with a final tomato layer, and generously garnish each stack with crumbled feta and fresh basil.If the eggplant slices are smaller across than the tomato slices, use two for one layer. (Likewise, if the tomatoes are smaller, use more for that layer.)
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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Originally published August 5, 2016. Post has been updated with new images, content, and recipe directions to improve reader experience.