SAN DIEGO — This is a little more work than I usually do but in the end, it is really special and worth the time. The Neopolitan celebrates all the great things of summer food while adding some casual elegance to grilling.
Eggplant Asparagus Grilled Neapolitan
- 1 Eggplant
- 12 - 14 Asparagus
- 2 cups Ricotta Cheese
- ¼ cup Romano or Parmesan Cheese
- ¼ cup chopped Fresh Basil, plus 1 tbsp
- ½ tsp Red Chili Flakes
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 Lemon, Zested
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil
- ½ Lemon juiced
- Kosher Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil for tossing
Preheat the grill to a medium-high heat. Peel eggplant leaving part of the skin in between each peel, trim the base of the asparagus and then peel the bottom third.
Lightly coat the eggplant and asparagus with olive oil, season with a healthy pinch of salt and 4 or 5 twists of the pepper grinder, toss gently. Place eggplant on the grill for 4-ish minutes per side, until there are some nice grill marks. For the asparagus take care to lay the stalks across the grill so the asparagus doesn't fall through. The asparagus cooks faster, 3 - 4 minutes and then a turn.
For the filling, mix the ricotta, chili flakes, lemon zest, and salt. Once everything is off the grill, close the lid keeping half the burners on and building heat. Stack the eggplant, ricotta cheese and then asparagus, repeat with a slice of eggplant on top.
Place in a baking pan and put the stacks on the indirect heat side of the grill, close the lid and give them 10 minutes. While that's happening whip together the olive oil and lemon juice. Remove from grill, plate, top with dressing and sprinkle with cheese.
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