Summer Vegetable and Mozzarella Stacks
This elegant starter has the ‘wow’ factor, making it a great choice for summer entertaining. For a vegan alternative, leave out the mozzarella or substitute it with Toffuti Mozzarella Style Slices (CV299).
1 Firstly, prepare your vegetables. Slice the tomatoes into rounds about 1cm thick. Slice the aubergines into rounds of the same thickness. Slice the courgettes from top to bottom, again about 1cm thick, to make long flat slices.
2 Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Brush the aubergine with olive oil and fry on a hot griddle (or a frying pan will work too). Once it’s lightly charred, leave the aubergine on a piece of kitchen towel to soak up any moisture. Repeat this process with the courgette slices.
3 Now to make the stacks! Your tomato slices will determine the size of the stacks, so trim your courgette slices to match them. On an oiled baking tray, start with a layer of aubergine, then tomato, then courgette. Spread the top layer with Pesto Rosso, then add a couple of chunks of mozzarella. Repeat this process until you have four impressive looking stacks, finished with a round of aubergine. You can insert a toothpick or skewer down the middle if you are worried about them collapsing in the oven!
4 Roast the stacks in your preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until the mozzarella is melting. While they are cooking, mix up a dressing using a tablespoon of Pesto Rosso, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a glug of olive oil, adjusting the quantities to suit your taste.
5 Using a fish slice or spatula, carefully lift your stacks onto individual plates. Drizzle a little dressing around each stack, scatter a few pine nuts over them and top with a few basil leaves. Voilà! Four stunning, seasonal starters.