These Mediterranean vegetable stacks drizzled with aromatic pesto make a stunning starter. Make them when aubergines are in plentiful supply.
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1 large aubergine
1 large firm tomato
2 tbsp pesto
1 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
To garnish (optional)
fresh basil leaves
chopped, stoned black olives
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Method Prep:25min › Cook:10min › Ready in:35min
Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas 6). Top and tail the aubergine and slice into twelve 1cm rounds. Arrange the aubergine slices on a lightly greased, non-stick baking sheet, without overlapping them. Bake for 8 minutes on each side.
Cut the tomato into four even rounds, trimming off the top and bottom of the tomato. Cut the mozzarella into four slices, then cut each slice in half widthways.
Spread one side of the aubergine rounds with a little of the pesto sauce, then stack into four towers, each with three slices, on the baking sheet. Top each stack with a slice of tomato and two slices of mozzarella, overlapping to fit. Lightly season with pepper.
Drizzle with olive oil, then bake for 8–10 minutes or until the cheese is just beginning to melt.
Serve immediately with any remaining pesto sauce spooned on top and garnish, if liked, with fresh basil leaves and chopped, stoned olives.