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Maggie Stopera


  • 8 slices eggplant (1/2" thick, about 4" diameter)
  • 4 slices eggplant (1/2" thick, about 3" diameter)
  • - kosher salt and freshly ground Kowalski's Black Peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup Kowalski's Extra Virgin Olive Oil (approximately), divided
  • 4 slices red heirloom tomato (1/2" thick, about 4" diameter)
  • 4 slices yellow heirloom tomato (1/2" thick, about 3" diameter)
  • 4 slices green or multicolor heirloom tomato (1/2" thick, about 3" diameter)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese mixture (such as Parmesan, Asiago and fontina)
  • - balsamic reduction (such as Cucina Viva Classic Glaze)
  • - fresh basil leaves, for garnish


Evenly sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with 2 tsp. salt; let stand 20 min. Wipe excess salt from eggplant and dry slices with a paper towel. Completely but lightly coat eggplant with oil. Season to taste with pepper. Grill directly over medium heat, covered, turning several times until browned and tender when pierced with a fork (6-10 min.). Meanwhile, arrange tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper to taste. Top tomatoes evenly with cheese; drizzle very lightly with oil. Place under a preheated broiler until cheese browns and is melted and bubbly (about 2 min.). Drizzle serving plates with oil and balsamic glaze. Arrange 4 large eggplant slices on plates; top each with red tomato rounds. Add another layer of large eggplant, then yellow tomato; repeat with smallest eggplant slices and smallest tomatoes. Drizzle towers with oil and balsamic glaze; garnish with basil, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


  • When assembling towers, use the largest slices on the bottom and use smaller slices as you stack up to prevent them from falling over.
  • Multicolored heirloom tomatoes are recommended for their visual appeal. You can substitute any color tomatoes.
  • You can substitute our recipe for Balsamic Syrup for the balsamic reduction.