Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: about 50 minutes
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
Salt to taste, plus 1/2 tsp
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 1/4 cups grated pecorino romano cheese
2 to 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1/2 cup Italian vinaigrette
2 to 3 large tomatoes, sliced
Large bunch basil leaves (optional)
3/4 lb shredded mozzarella
1. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt on both sides.
2. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. In a pie plate, combine the bread crumbs and grated cheese.
4. Pat the eggplant with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Place the zucchini and eggplant slices in the flour mixture and toss to coat evenly. Shake off excess flour, dip in the egg, then roll in the bread-crumb mixture to coat liberally. (Kids love to help with this.)
5. Place coated veggies on baking sheets in a single layer. (Sprinkle any excess bread crumb-cheese mixture on top.) Drizzle with the dressing. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
6. Top each eggplant round with a tomato slice, then continue to cook about 10 minutes more, or until the eggplant and zucchini are tender and the bread crumbs are golden. Remove from oven and top each eggplant-tomato piece with a basil leaf, if using, and a sprinkle of mozzarella.
7. Start stacking! Begin with an eggplant-tomato piece, add a layer of zucchini, and then end with another eggplant-tomato and a basil leaf on top, if desired. If cheese has not melted, return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes.
Picky-eater pleaser: Skip the green stuff and serve the veggies with jarred marinara for dipping.