Roasted Eggplant Caprese Salad Recipe
A little embellishment on the classic Caprese salad, this roasted eggplant Caprese is a filling and delicious appetizer with a special basil vinaigrette. Exceptional!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
- 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
- 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 on for step # 5.
- 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.
- If you like, place the baking dish in the oven to heat for 7-10 minutes (just until the cheese melts slightly).
- 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.
- 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!
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.