A perfect summer appetizer that is full of flavor! Grilled eggplant is layered with sun-dried tomatoes, a delicious cheese mixture, and topped off with my favorite basil dressing.
I’ve mentioned many times that Kyle can be a picky eater, especially when it comes to vegetables. Eggplant is definitely not on his favorites list, and I think there a lot of people out there that aren’t fans of it either.
I personally love eggplant. Really though, what don’t I love?
Anyway, I knew going into this recipe that it was going to be a challenge to get him to eat it. Not only does he have an aversion to eggplant, but sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese too. Yep, I went into this with three strikes.
I should mention he will gladly eat eggplant if it’s breaded and fried, or covered in cheese. But grilled and layered with two other ingredients he’s not fond of? I didn’t think it would happen.
I somehow convinced him to try them (probably by not telling him that the filling included goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes) and he was very wary. However, after the first bite I heard a quiet “mmm”. And then after the second an even louder “mmm”. SUCCESS!
He was pleasantly surprised by how much he really liked these. He even took the leftovers for a few days in his lunch! I shouldn’t have been surprised though because these are one of the most flavorful little bites I’ve ever made.
The amount of flavor in these napoleons is indescribable. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the heck a napoleon is, it’s just a fancy name for a layered dish.
Back to the flavor going on here. We’ve got fresh grilled eggplant layered with sun-dried tomato bruschetta, a delicious herbed cheese mixture and if that isn’t enough flavor, a drizzle of my favorite dressing. It’s like an explosion on your taste buds!
Let’s just take a moment to talk about my fresh basil dressing. It’s my favorite dressing ever and it’s in my fridge all summer long. If you’re trying to eat more salads and need a dressing to get you through, this is the one you need. It makes anything taste good!
This recipe is really simple to put together and makes the perfect summer appetizer. We ate these as an appetizer one night, a side another night, and as a main course for lunch. They taste best at room temperature, but are also quite tasty straight out of the refrigerator.
These eggplant napoleons would be a great dish to serve at your next barbecue. They also make a great midday (or midnight) snack!
- 1 or 2 Eggplants, thinly sliced (¼-inch think, you’ll end up with 24-27 slices depending on the size of the eggplants you use – I used 1 medium sized one and 1 small one)
- Olive Oil, for drizzling
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ½ Cup Ricotta Cheese, room temperature
- 4 oz. Goat Cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons Assorted Mixed Herbs (such as basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano)
- ½ Cup Jarred Sun-Dried Tomato Bruschetta
- Basil Dressing, for drizzling
- Preheat a grill pan over high heat (or your outdoor grill). Drizzle the eggplant slices evenly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until grill marks have formed and the eggplant begins to soften.
- Transfer to a plate and let cool while you prepare the cheese filling.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta and goat cheese. Use a hand mixer to mix them together until light and fluffy. Add in the herbs and mix well.
- Lay 8 eggplant slices on a work surface (if you have 27 slices, you’ll lay out 9) and top each with a small dollop of the sun-dried tomato bruschetta and then a small dollop of the cheese mixture. Top with another eggplant slice, and repeat. Top off with one more eggplant slice (you’ll use 3 for each napoleon) and finish off with a touch of the tomato mix.
- Drizzle the napoleons lightly with the basil dressing and serve. These are perfect at room temperature or cold!