Presentation can make a huge difference when it comes to serving a dish and elevating it to the next level. Instead of throwing all of the grilled vegetables onto a single serving plate, individually plate the vegetables into neat, fashionable stacks. Since nobody wants to eat anything that looks ugly, take the time and make your dishes look gorgeous. These vegetable stacks make a beautiful alternative to salad when paired next to grilled meat, pork, or even grilled cheese. To make this simple, yet beautiful side,
2 medium eggplants
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
2 medium tomatoes
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing vegetables
2 1⁄2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 cup diced red bell pepper (or hot chile, such as serrano)
- Slice eggplants into 1⁄4"-thick rounds, sprinkle with salt, and layer in a colander. Weigh down with a plate and set aside to drain for 20 minutes. Brush salt off eggplant.
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill or place a stove-top grill pan over medium-high heat.
- Slice squash and zucchini into 1⁄4"-thick rounds and slice tomatoes into 1⁄2"-thick rounds.
- Lightly brush all vegetables with olive oil, then grill, turning once, until tender and slightly charred, about 30 seconds per side for tomatoes, 2–3 minutes per side for eggplant, squash, and zucchini.
- Whisk together 1⁄2 cup olive oil, vinegar, parsley, and basil in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble, place 1 eggplant round on a plate and stack on top a tomato round, a second eggplant round, and squash and zucchini rounds. Drizzle with dressing and top with diced red pepper.