Eggplant. One of my favorite foods, my mother's favorite as well. Take just about any cuisine and mold it around an eggplant and you have me on board. Same goes for cauliflower, but that's for another day.
While you might not guess by the blonde hair, or even my mother's blonde hair, or dad's red hair - but I got me some Italian blood. Yup, some legit Naples Barber came over as a stowaway in the early 1900s kind of American Italian family. The kind that makes a giant dish of eggplant parm for a normal dinner, alongside a HUGE table of accompanying food.
This is a lighter, healthier version of a eggplant parm, without the heart stopping qualities, but just as much flavor. The nice part about this is that it is part salad part stacked dinner dish, and I easily eat 3 stacks for dinner. Should I? Probably not, I SHOULD in fact just have one or two and have a side salad, but honestly when you live alone making dinner AND a side salad is like asking for Hogwarts to be real.
The recipe here is originally based off of a wonderful Eggplant Napoleon from Tanoreen, a Mediterranean/greek restaurant in NYC. Their published cookbook Olives, Lemon and Zaa'tar is filled with pages upon pages of amazing recipes. Seriously, it's a hidden gem of greek food.
The Tanoreen version uses babaganoush and mutbal, which is an eggplant salad however I really prefer to keep things on the lighter side when prepping a dish like this one for dinner. I replace the stacks with a little hummus (straight from the store) a slice of vine-ripened tomato, fresh parsley and a little balsamic reduction. Because a drizzle of sugary vinegar goodness can't hurt a fly.
If you are going to serve this for guests or for more than 2 people for dinner as a side, I would highly consider setting out plate with your stacks for everyone to take individually - family style. This way they can fight for how much each person gets and leave you out of the giant argument that is about to happen.