Roasted Eggplant Caprese Salad

ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Salt
  • 3 large or steak tomatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 basil leaves, more for the dressing
  • 16 Oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Basil Vinaigrette (optional)
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper

instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Spread the eggplant slices on a large tray and sprinkle generously with salt. Leave for 30 minutes; the eggplant will “sweat out” it’s bitterness. When ready, pat the eggplant dry.
  3. Place the eggplant slices and the tomato slices on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the 425 F degree heated-oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on for step # 5.
  4. When the eggplant and tomatoes are cool enough to handle, bring a small baking dish (about 6″x 9″) and begin to assemble the Caprese salad. Arrange the eggplant, tomato, cheese and basil in the baking dish forming a tight row. Repeat the pattern (as you see in the tutorial picture below) until you fill the baking dish side-to-side.
  5. If you like, place the baking dish in the oven to heat for 7-10 minutes (just until the cheese melts slightly).
  6. While the Caprese salad warms up, make the basil vinaigrette. In a small food processor, blend the chopped garlic with the basil leaves, olive oil, lime juice and spices.
  7. When ready, remove the roasted eggplant Caprese salad from the oven and spoon some of the basil vinaigrette on top. Place the extra basil vinaigrette in a bowl to serve next to the salad. Slice a loaf of crusty bread to serve along. Enjoy!