This side dish rounded out our meal of squash and steak and it in particular was really delicious. I am not very good at cooking eggplant any other way, but grilling is sure to give you great flavor and a non-spongy consistency.
Grilled Eggplant Stacks with Tomato and Feta
1 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant
1 large tomato
3 oz. feta, crumbled (about 3/4 c.)
Garnish: finely shredded basil leaves
Blend basil with oil and 1/2 tsp. salt in blender until finely chopped. Pour into a paper-towel- or coffee-filter-lined sieve over a bowl and let drain for 20 minutes. Gather together sides of towel or filter and press gently on it to extract more oil (you will have a generous 1/3 c. oil). Scrape chopped basil leaves into a small bowl and reserve.
Cut off bottom of eggplant, then cut 1/2-inch thick crosswise rounds, starting from cut end. Cut 4 rounds from large tomato.
Lightly brush eggplant rounds on both sides with basil oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Grill on a lightly oiled grill rack, turning over occasionally, lightly brushing eggplant with more basil oil occasionally if it looks dry, until eggplant is very tender, 6-10 minutes.
On baking pan, arrange 2 largest eggplant rounds side by side and spread each with a generous 1/2 teaspoon of reserved chopped basil leaves, then top each with 1 of 4 largest tomato rounds. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper and top each with about 1 tbs. feta. Make another layer with medium-sized eggplant rounds, chopped basil leaves, medium tomato rounds, salt, pepper, and feta, then top with remaining eggplant and feta.
Set baking pan on grill and cook stacks, with grill cover closed, until heated through and cheese on top is softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer stacks to plates.