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Nana’s Vegetable Stacks

June 25, 2011

Last night, we had so many things to celebrate. The closing of our old house, my brother being home after being in Asia for the past year, and my father recovering from a really, really nasty tick bite. The first was bittersweet, we will so miss our first home, but we are relieved to no longer own two homes. The second celebration was lovely, especially since Serafina got to re-meet her uncle. Not having seen my brother since she was three months old, she stared and stared for the entire visit. It was a different sort of staring then she gives strangers, like she recognized him, but just couldn’t quite place him. The final celebration was a wonderful relief because we were very worried about my father, or Babu as we call him, the last week.

Serafina is now officially a toddler, which really makes me excited. People like to warn you with any advancement comes more problems. However, I like to focus on the wonderful and funny things that accompany each development. I find, if you can categorize more difficult developments as funny, it might keep you sane. Like now, she wanders around picks up random object and bangs them together and babbles, the louder the better. If you stop for a second, and bang something louder and babble back, she gives the funniest look, as if to say “Lady, you have problems!” Yesterday, she tried to do a deadbug tantrum. When she realized it was time to leave Nana and Babu’s house, she fell to the floor on her back, put all limbs up, wiggled and wailed. We were a little surprised, hid our laughter, and then just ignored her. Quickly realizing that this was not going to amount to anything with her mother, she rolled over and tried to pretend her original intent was to play with a toy. I know, I know. You are thinking,  just wait and see, it gets worse. I hear this just about a million times a day, which makes me wonder why people feel the need to dwell on the bad, but I guess, that is for another post. Listen, I have taught 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, and 18 year olds, I know what worse is, but I also know at every age, each child brings their own unique wonderfulness!

For dinner, my mother, otherwise known as The Nana, made these vegetable stacks.

Super easy and perfect for summer, these are ideal if you are hosting vegetarians for dinner or a BBQ. They are easy to make, look beautiful, and everyone can enjoy them. Unfortunately, I only had my iPhone with me, so the pictures did not turn out wonderful. Je ‘m’excuse.

A note about the ingredient:  I list roasted red peppers. I prefer to broil my own peppers, it is quick and they are not slimy. To do this, wash, de-seed and slice your peppers. Brush olive oil on them and lay them on an baking dish covered in foil. Place under the broil for 5-10 minutes. Try to stay close and watch them. Remove when they are soft. Peel off burned bits. Voila!

Nana’s Vegetable Stacks

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, one yellow and one red, sliced 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup of mozzarella, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/ cup of roasted red and yellow peppers
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced 1/2′ pieces
  • 1/2 cup of whole sprigs of basil
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 tb balsamic vinegar
  • Toothpicks

1. Preheat the oven at 400

2. In a rectangular dish, drizzle good olive oil, salt, and pepper on your stacks. Let them marinate for thirty minutes. Do not put them in the fridge, as that takes the flavor out of tomatoes.

3. Next, it is time to stack your veggies. Start with eggplant, then basil, then red tomato, roasted peppers, mozzarella, basil, yellow tomato, mozzarella, and finally basil. Use a toothpick to hold your stacks together. Place your veggies in a baking dish covered in foil and brushed with more olive oil. Repeat stacks until your ingredients are gone.

4. When they are done marinating, drizzle each stack with balsamic vinegar. Then, bake your stacks in the oven for about 7 minutes.

5. When the cheese has melted, take out your dish. Remove the toothpick. Serve warm with a fresh basil sprig or two.

This picture was taken when the sun had set, so the light was bad. I promise you these were delicious!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 27, 2011 9:24 am

    I couldn’t agree more about your noting that people always seem to point out the worst during each phase of childhood. I’ve counseled kids age 3-18 and I think all ages and stages come with their joys and challenges. Our daughter is not even eight months old and everyone is always telling me, ‘Just wait till she’s a teenager!’. Uh huh, let’s just focus on that, shall we? And besides, at least by then she won’t be waking up to nurse all night 🙂

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