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Nightshade Napoleons

July 18, 2016
Photo Credit: Margot Foster

This gluten-free, all-veggie “lasagna” uses thin slices of marinated raw zucchini instead of pasta to separate its slow-cooked, tender layers of grilled eggplant and grape tomatoes with rich and creamy Burrata. Serve at room temperature as a main course with grilled bread or as an appetizer before a very light dinner.

Nightshade Napoleons




20 min


30 min


1 medium-large eggplant (1½ pounds), peeled and cut in twelve 1/3-inch slices

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large zucchini (12 ounces)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 pints multicolored grape or cherry tomatoes

1 burrata cheese (8 ounces)

Aged balsamic vinegar for drizzling


Layer the eggplant slices in a colander in the sink, sprinkling generously with salt between the layers and let stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim the zucchini and slice very thinly on the diagonal. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil and 2 pinches each of salt and pepper. Let stand and preheat the grill.

Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towel; place in a bowl, drizzle with 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil, tossing several times while you add the oil. (The oil will soak in, but it is not necessary to saturate the slices.)

Place the tomatoes in a heatproof skillet, toss with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the skillet off to one side of the grill. Add the eggplant slices directly to the grates on the other side, cover and cook gently over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes; remove the pan of tomatoes when they have popped and are juicy. When the eggplant is nicely browned underneath, turn and cook 1 minute on the other side then transfer to a plate and let cool.

To assemble the Napoleons, place 1 eggplant slice (browned side up) on each of 4 plates. Top with 3 or 4 zucchini slices and about 5 grilled tomatoes. You will need 8 portions of burrata, which you will layer twice—everything else will be layered 3 times total, ending with tomatoes.

Drizzle the finished Napoleons with balsamic vinegar and a bit of oil. Season with pepper.

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