When I was living in California, a local Italian restaurant served this eggplant tower as an appetizer. I ordered it often. It was unbreaded layers of eggplant with tomato sauce and cheese, baked in the oven. We recreate that recipe here. But first I want to tell you a story about how this eggplant tower changed my life.
Years ago, I was trying to lose weight, and decided to go on yet another fad diet. I tried Nutrisystem. I paid a lot of money for a 2-week supply of Nutrisystem food. I was somewhat concerned when the food arrived because none of it needed to be refrigerated, including a hamburger patty. The expiration date on most of the food was a year in the future. This meant that the food was highly processed and full of preservatives. How else could a hamburger patty hold up for a year uncooked.
The Nutrisystem food was also packaged into very tiny portions. I knew that if I ate tiny portions of my own food, I would surely lose weight. I didn’t need all of this fake food, but I spent the money so I kept at it.
By the end of the two weeks I was thoroughly depressed from eating these tiny portions of processed foods. The only entree I had left was the hamburger patty that I kept avoiding.
I remember the instructions were to bake it in the oven. As I watched this burger of despair sizzle in the oven, my brother was making himself an eggplant tower. He was also trying to lose weight, and had chosen a much healthier path than me. He was eating mostly vegetables.
As he watched me wait for my dinner to cook, he finally said to me, “Please don’t eat that.”
He could see I was upset and that this Nutrisystem food wasn’t doing me any good. He offered me his eggplant tower, and said he would make himself another one, if I would please not eat that burger.
I tossed the burger in relief, and ate the most delicious eggplant tower ever.
From that day forward I decided to never go on another fad diet, but to research nutrition and healthy eating instead. That eggplant tower led me to the Mediterranean diet, and I never looked back.
Eating that delicious homemade eggplant tower changed my life and my relationship with food forever.
Here is the easy recipe. I hope this eggplant tower brings you much joy. Perhaps it will change your life too.
- 1 eggplant
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup Fontina cheese grated
- 2 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp Romano cheese grated fine
- Preheat oven to 385 degrees F.
- Prepare baking sheet with parchment and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Slice eggplant into slices, about 1/4 inch or 1 centimeter thick.
- Arrange slices on baking sheet. Pour over olive oil and toss them around to coat them.
- Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Turn them over, and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
- Put a new piece of parchment on baking sheet. Apply a think coat of non-stick cooking spray.
- Put a spoonful of tomato sauce for each tower. This recipe makes two.
- Choose your largest eggplant slice and put it on top of tomato sauce.
- Add tomato sauce on top, then sprinkle with Fontina cheese, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Repeat until you use up all of the eggplant slices.
- To the top layer, sprinkle with Romano cheese.
- Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Bake eggplant towers for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.