Meatless Monday: An easy veggie side of eggplant towers
These eggplant towers are the perfect side dish or light meal for your next Meatless Monday. They're quick and easy to prepare, and they can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
An abundance of vegetables conveniently stacked up in a delicious and nutritious package? Yes, please! Whether you enjoy them sprinkled with chopped cashews, shredded cheese or without any additional toppings, these eggplant towers are the perfect blend of soft, crunchy and flavourful. Enjoy several of them on their own as a light meal, or pair a couple with a meatless burger or other vegetarian main for a heartier dish.
- 1 large eggplant (try to find one that's straight and relatively large in width)
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 3 vine tomatoes, sliced
- 10-12 button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt, to taste
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted or toasted cashews (optional)
- Chopped or shredded cheese (optional)
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1. Preheat the oven, and prepare the eggplant
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the eggplant into rounds that are slightly under 1/2 inch thick. Drizzle a pan with olive oil. Place the eggplant rounds into the pan 1 at a time, and move them around to cover both sides in olive oil. If you run out of olive oil after a few slices, then simply add more oil to the pan. The eggplants will soak up the oil like a sponge, but they really don't need too much. Alternatively, you can brush the olive oil onto the eggplant rounds with a cooking brush.
2. Add the onions
Slice the onions thinly, and place a slice or 2 on each eggplant round.
3. Add the tomatoes
Slice the tomatoes into circles, and place a slice on top of each tower.
4. Add the mushrooms
Slice the mushrooms, and place a few on top of each tower.
5. Add the spices
Sprinkle the towers with oregano, basil and salt.
6. Bake and enjoy
If adding cashews or cheese, then bake the towers for 40 minutes, remove them from the oven, add the topping, and return them to oven for another 10 minutes. If not adding cashews or cheese, then leave the towers in the oven for 50 minutes total. You will know the towers are done when a fork slides easily into the eggplant. If there is too much resistance, the eggplant will have a spongy texture rather than a yummy soft one. If this is the case, then leave the towers in the oven until they are tender. Then remove, serve and enjoy!
Note: Making your own toasted cashews is easy. Just preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, place raw cashews onto a tray, and place the tray in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cashews are lightly browned. Remove, let cool, and enjoy in or on delicious recipes like this one.