A slight spin on the beloved Italian summer classic, this roasted eggplant Caprese salad recipe makes the perfect satisfying appetizer or even side dish! See the step-by-step tutorial below.

Slices of Roasted Eggplant, Mozzarella cheese and tomatoes lined up in a dish, garnished with fresh basil

Caprese salad is the quintessential summer dish. And the key to a perfect Caprese salad recipe is to use the best ingredients you find--large, firm tomatoes, milky fresh mozzarella cheese; and of course, fragrant basil leaves.

Tomatoes, cheese and Eggplant lined in a row in a dish

Typically, all I would add to this classic Italian salad is a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. But today, I decided to embellish just a little on my simple Caprese salad recipe by adding roasted eggplant and a little basil vinaigrette. The roasted eggplant transformed my Caprese salad into a more filling appetizer or even a warm side dish. It isn't that Caprese salad needs to be fancied up, but the velvety texture of roasted eggplant is a hearty and very pleasant addition.

Roasted Eggplant Caprese Salad after being baked in the oven

I highly recommend serving this roasted eggplant Caprese salad warm, with the cheese nicely melted. The basil vinaigrette is optional, but I really like the extra herbal peppery taste. A loaf of quality crusty bread and some white wine is all you need to get this party started.

Here is the roasted eggplant Caprese salad recipe; be sure to see the step-by-step tutorial with photos below:

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Roasted Eggplant Caprese Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. A satisfying appetizer or even side dish! Roasted eggplants, tomatoes, and melted mozzeralla cheese with basil nestled in between. Dressed in a simple basil viniagrette! See the step-by-step tutorial on The Mediterranean Dish

Roasted Eggplant Caprese Salad Recipe


Description

A little embellishment on the classic Caprese salad, this roasted eggplant Caprese is a filling and delicious appetizer with a special basil vinaigrette. Exceptional!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 eggplant, sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • Salt
  • 3 large or steak tomatoes, sliced into ½-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
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ 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!

Notes

  • Cold-serve option: If you prefer to leave the mozzeralla cheese cold, you can skip step #5. This will help the Caprese salad keep its shape as the cheese is not melted. Simply top the cold roasted eggplant Caprese salad with the basil vinaigrette and serve.
  • Recommended for this Recipe: Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
  • Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Eggplant, Caprese Salad, Mozzarella Cheese, Italian salad, Eggplant Salad,

Step-by-step tutorial for roasted eggplant caprese:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 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.
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 for later.

Slices of eggplant and tomatoes lined on a baking sheet
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 until you fill the baking dish side-to-side.

Eggplant, tomatoes and cheese slices placed in a baking dish

Baking dish completely filled with Caprese salad ingredients ready to be baked

If you like, place the baking dish in the oven to heat for 7-10 minutes, just until the cheese melts. (Note there will be extra oil in the dish from the melted cheese). 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.

Ingredients of basil vinaigrette added to food processor and blended together

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 quality crusty bread to serve along. Enjoy!

Basil Vinaigrette added to the baked Caprese salad

More Recipes to Try:

Mediterranean Roasted Artichoke

Antipasto Skewers

Fried Halloumi Asparagus Salad with Tomatoes

Fried Eggplant with Green Peppers and Tomatoes

Roasted Eggplant Caprese Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. A satisfying appetizer or even side dish! Roasted eggplants, tomatoes, and melted mozzeralla cheese with basil nestled in between. Dressed in a simple basil viniagrette! See the step-by-step tutorial on The Mediterranean Dish

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. I'm cooking for two, so I figured out how to reduce the amounts using one Japanese eggplant instead of globe. I also picked up some fresh pearl mozzarella balls, using 4 oz of the 8 oz container. It totally changed the look but the taste was super. Added basil pieces to the dish before the final bake, and used a balsamic vinegar instead of lime juice. It all fit nicely in an 8x8 inch pan. We enjoyed it and like others have said "it's a keeper".

  2. This was an excellent recipe! I actually dusted the eggplant with a sprinkle of sumac, and the uncooked tomatoes (I don't care much for roasted tomatoes) with salt. Then I assembled it as recommended and it was delicious! Absolutely mouth watering.

  3. Excellent...served it warm everyone loved it! Made the vinegarette and used some of it not all.
    Thank you a real keeper

    1. Hi Janine. So I have not tried freezing this dish before. I would imagine you would get a better result freezing the roasted eggplant and tomatoes separately until you are ready to assemble the dish. But I think you can also freeze it assembled.

  4. Just letting you know I am featuring this today in my weekly Low-Carb Recipe Love on Fridays post, and I bet it's going to be a big hit with my readers. Sounds amazing.

  5. This looks amazing, hubby doesn't really like eggplant but I know he would love this!!

  6. Oh my gosh, such a beautiful salad - I love the layers with all of the basil tucked in between. Looks just delicious!