Preheat grill to high. If using a grill pan, place it over high heat on the stove.
Dry the eggplant by patting with a paper towel.
Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and place on the grill.
Cook until dark grill marks appear, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside.
While the eggplant cools, whisk together ¼ cup of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium size bowl.
Construct the salad by stacking or layering components: eggplant, tomato, mozzarella, eggplant, tomato, mozzarella, eggplant.
Spoon vinaigrette over and around the salad and garnish with basil.
Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!
How To Disgorge An Eggplant:
Eggplants are a loaded with water. In order to concentrate their flavor, place eggplant slices on a paper towel and lightly salt them. This will force the eggplant to secrete water while absorbing the salt, known as disgorging. Since there is less moisture in a disgorged eggplant, it won’t end up soggy on the grill! Be sure to implement this neat trick about one hour prior to using the eggplant.
Bring stock, saffron and sprigs of thyme to a simmer in a medium size pot. Keep at a simmer until ready to use.
Heat oil in a large flat bottom skillet over medium high heat. Quickly sear both sides of the vegetable: 2 minutes per side for the yellow squash and zucchini; 4 minutes per side for the eggplant. Set aside.
In the same skillet add chorizo, onion and bell pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent and starting to brown.
Add tomato paste, garlic, paprika and cayenne and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add rice to skillet, continuing to stir, toasting the rice for 2 minutes. Add the orange zest, juice, saffron and chicken stock.
When the liquid boils, reduce heat to low. Stir the rice mixture frequently for 5 minutes. Stop stirring and allow rice to cook for 20 minutes. DO NOT STIR.
After 20 minutes, nestle the seared vegetables into the paella, cover the skillet and turn off the heat. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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