Grilled Barramundi with Eggplant and Tomato Stacks

September  9, 2016
0 Ratings
Photo by Coley @ Coley Cooks
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Plating is part of the cooking fun and this stackable recipe will help you get your creative juices flowing. Try to use tomatoes and eggplant with approximately the same circumference when sliced, and cut the barramundi fillets to be roughly the same size. This will make for more even and attractive stacks. —Coley @ Coley Cooks

What You'll Need
  • 1-2 medium eggplants, sliced into rounds, about 1/2 inch thick (8 good slices)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 8 3-ounce pieces skinless barramundi fillets
  • 1-2 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/2 thick (8 good slices)
  • Aged balsamic vinegar, or balsamic reduction, for drizzling
  1. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt on both sides, then place on a rack and set aside for 30 minutes. The salt will draw out excess moisture and bitterness.
  2. While the eggplant is sitting, make the basil oil. Combine the garlic, basil, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor or blender and process on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  3. Use paper towels to blot the excess moisture and salt from the eggplant, then drizzle with olive oil and rub to coat on all sides. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Use paper towels to pat the barramundi fillets very dry. Drizzle with olive oil and rub to coat on all sides, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the barramundi and eggplant pieces until nicely charred on the outside and the barramundi is opaque throughout.
  5. Place a piece of eggplant in the center of a plate, then spoon a little bit of the basil oil over top. Stack a piece of tomato on top, season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with more basil oil. Top with a piece of fish, drizzle with more basil oil, then repeat with one more piece of each. Use up the remaining fish, tomato and eggplant to create three more stacks, then spoon a generous amount of basil oil over each. Finish with a light drizzle of aged balsamic or balsamic reduction around the perimeter of each plate. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Coley @ Coley Cooks
    Coley @ Coley Cooks
  • JayKayTee

4 Reviews

Coley @. October 16, 2016
@JayKayTee I corrected the typo. You need 1 cup of packed basil leaves.
JayKayTee October 24, 2016
Thanks Coley!
JayKayTee October 13, 2016
I don't see how much or type of basil you used in the recipe. Though it looks like a pesto minus the pine nuts and parm - will try 1 cup. First look at this I thought the fish was scallops, which I have and will use. Hopefully, I will remember to post after notes. No aged balsamic but I do have a reduction and a pomegranate reduction ... mmmmm this is sounding good.

I can't believe this didn't get any traction. Beautiful picture, wonderful combination of ingredients - perhaps the barramundi threw people off.
JayKayTee October 24, 2016
Finally. I made this for lunch today, though I changed so much that it is loosely based on this recipe.

I used large wild-caught sea scallops, made the eggplant under the broiler, added a slice of fresh mozzarella, used a regular red organic tomato, the pesto I had on hand was parsley/walnut, and I only did one layer of eggplant/tomato/mozzarella/scallop.

The slice of tomato was too much and added too much liquid (along with the fresh mozzarella - I topped the eggplant with the tomato then mozzarella and put it under the broiler until cheese just melted.). But when I deconstructed the layers and added just a taste of tomato the flavors came together.

This isn't an intense knock your taste buds for a loop type bite, but a very delicate one. It probably would pack more punch with the basil oil in the recipe. I'm still not sure if the balsamic reduction was a must have. It did add a bit of sweet, but since scallops are a bit sweet themselves, I probably could have left it off.

Overall, a nice group of flavors, pretty presentation and I would make this again.