Eggplant Portobello Tower Looks as Good as It Tastes

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Oh yes, this one is yummy!  It looks a lot more difficult than it is. And, it would be a wonderful treat to serve guests because it looks like you’ve been cooking all day to create this masterpiece.

This is actually three recipes; the orzo, the pesto, and the vegetable stack.  None of them take too much time or are too difficult, so give it a try.  I pulled this one together myself, so if you have ideas to make this better, let me know!

Ingredients List:
The Pesto:

1 bunch of fresh basil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic

The Vegetable Stack:
8 medium Portobello mushroom caps
1 medium circumference eggplant
2 large tomatoes
Medium sized ball of fresh Mozzarella
Olive oil
Red onion (optional)

The Orzo:
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
12 oz. tri colored orzo
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas
71/2 oz jar roasted red peppers
Salt and pepper
Spinach leaves

Instructions:

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1. Make the pesto first by putting all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree.  Pesto can be put in the refrigerator until the rest of the dish is complete.  Heat the oven to 400 degrees for the vegetable stacks.

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2. Make the orzo next by heating the olive oil on medium and adding the garlic. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.

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3. Toss in the orzo and stir it into the garlic and oil mixture.  Cook another 2 minutes.

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4. Next add the vegetable broth, peas and chopped roasted red pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, stir occasionally for about 15 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

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5. While you have down time with the orzo, rinse the Portobello mushrooms and trim the stems.  Cut the eggplant into 8 half inch slices.

Place the veggies on a roasting pan and brush them with olive oil.  When the oven is heated put them in for about 10 minutes until they are just soft but not overcooked.
(If you like onion, add some red onion slices to the tray to roast.)

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6. Let the veggies cool and sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper.  Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella into 8 slices.

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7. Create the vegetable stacks on a lightly oiled baking sheet starting with the eggplant, then tomato, mozzarella and Portobello. (Add the onion in here if you like.) Repeat.  Carefully put the baking sheet back in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

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8. While the vegetable stacks are baking, heat up some olive oil in a small skillet and toss in a couple handfuls of spinach leaves.  Heat them on medium heat and keep stirring and mixing them up to wilt them for the base of the entire dish.

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Create your masterpiece with wilted spinach on the bottom, then the orzo, and then gently add the vegetable stack.  Top with a dollop of pesto and serve with crusty bread and wine!

Shari

 

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