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Hot, lazy summer days are too precious to waste in the kitchen. Enhance your outdoor leisure time with a visit to a local farmer's stand or market to choose fresh vegetables for this colorful recipe.
Grilled Vegetable Napoleons
Substitute or add other vegetables as you wish. Some nice additions might be new potatoes or red peppers. Although the stacks are attractive and easy to serve, you may also arrange the grilled vegetables and cheese in a casserole.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut in 12 slices (1/3-inch thick)
3 medium zucchinis, cut in 24 slices (1/4-inch thick)
3 large tomatoes, cut in 6 slices (1/3-inch thick)
3 medium red onions, cut in 12 slices (1/3-inch thick)
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
Preheat barbecue and set on low. Brush vegetables with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill slowly until tender, turning once. Transfer the vegetables to a tray, arranging them in a single layer, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. The vegetables may be grilled a day in advance, and refrigerated after cooling. Bring the vegetables back to room temperature before proceeding.
Stir together the ricotta, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Place one slice of eggplant on a lightly oiled grill sheet or foil pan. Spread 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture over the eggplant. Cover with 2 slices of zucchini, 1 slice of onion, 1 slice of mozzarella, 1 slice of tomato, and 2 slices of zucchini. Spread 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture over the onion, and top with another slice of eggplant. Repeat this procedure with the remaining vegetables to make 5 more stacks.
Insert a wooden skewer through the centre of each stack to create a hole from top to bottom. Remove the bottom leaves from each rosemary sprig, leaving one inch of leaves on the top. Insert 1 sprig into the centre hole in each napoleon, and return to the barbecue.
Heat for about 10 minutes on low, or until mozzarella is melted and vegetables are warmed through.