Sweet Potato–Eggplant Stacks with Burrata and Parlsey-Cilantro Pesto
This creamy cousin of mozzarella is a real indulgence: Omit the ricotta, lime zest and juice, and basil and make Parsley-Cilantro Pesto. Use 4 of the smallest burrata you can find; if you can only find large burrata, get one and quarter it. Put a burrata (or wedge of burrata) next to each stack along with a spoonful of the pesto.
Eggplant-Zucchini Stacks with Spiced Yogurt
An excellent use for big zucchini: Heat the grill for direct heat. Substitute 1 large zucchini for the sweet potato; don’t peel. Replace the ricotta with yogurt and the lime zest and juice with 1 teaspoon ras el hanout or more to taste. Substitute mint for the basil. Cook the zucchini slices over direct heat; they will only take a couple minutes on each side to cook through.
Portobello-Eggplant Stacks with Orange-Pepper Ricotta
The portobello adds real heartiness: Substitute 4 portobello mushrooms, caps brushed clean and stems removed, for the sweet potato (use only one per stack). Substitute the grated zest of 1 orange and 2 tablespoons orange juice for the lime zest and juice, and add 1 teaspoon black pepper. Omit the basil. Grill the portobellos over direct heat until they’re juicy and tender throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Start the stack with the portobello, then the onion and eggplant, then another layer of onion and eggplant.
Make the dipping sauce: Put the parsley, lime juice, garlic, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a blender or food processor and process until chopped, stopping to scrape down the side of the container if necessary. Add 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and some salt; process until smooth. Transfer to a small serving bowl.
Ras el Hanout
Stir together 1 teaspoon each black pepper, paprika, ground ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, and freshly grated nutmeg. Add 1/2 teaspoon each cayenne, ground fennel seeds, allspice, and cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and stir to combine. Makes about 3-1/2 tablespoons.