Grilled Vegetable Towers


8 vegetable towers
Six ½-inch-thick slices country-style breadcountry-style bread6
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oilextra-virgin olive oil
2 Japanese eggplants, cut into sixteen ¼-to-½-inch-thick roundsjapanese eggplants2
½ teaspoon kosher saltkosher salt½
½ cup goat cheese, at room temperature (4 ounces)goat cheese½
Zest of 1 large lemonlemon(s)1
16 jarred sun-dried tomatoes, drainedsun-dried tomatoes16


Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Using a pastry brush, brush the bread on both sides with 1/3 cup oil. Using a 1 3/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 4 circles from each slice of bread. Grill the bread rounds until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes each side.

Toss the eggplant rounds with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and season with the salt. Grill until tender, about 3 minutes on each side.

In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese and lemon zest until smooth. Spread about 3/4 teaspoon of the mixture on 8 grilled bread rounds. Place an eggplant round on each and top with a sun-dried tomato. Repeat the layers and top with the remaining bread slices. Gently press the layers together. Secure with toothpicks and serve.

cook's notes

Special equipment: 1 3/4-inch round cookie cutter; 8 toothpicks
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