Eggplant Caprese Salad

Upping the ante on a traditional caprese salad- I added breaded and fried eggplant.  That’s right all the wonders of eggplant parmesan in classy appetizer form–winner!

Eggplant Caprese Salad
Serves 4

Pesto:
1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup shaved parmesan
4 tablespoons olive oil

Eggplant Caprese:
1 medium eggplant (the smaller and more cylindrical the better for plating)
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large tomatoes on the vine (or heirloom), cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 (8 ounce) ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch slices
Balsamic vinegar to finish
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450.  Then, in a Cuisinart, mix all pesto ingredients and pulse until a smooth paste forms.  Set aside.

Next, start a breading station for your eggplant:

Fill one bowl with flour, one with breadcrumbs, and in the remaining bowl mix the egg with 1 tablespoon of water-whisking to blend.

Peel your eggplant and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Start by dredging the slices in flour, dusting off excess, and then dipping into egg wash.  Finish in breadcrumbs and repeat till all slices are breaded.

In a large saute pan add 2 tablespoons olive oil and bring to medium-high heat.  Fry eggplant in batches until golden brown (3-4 minutes per side)-add remaining olive oil between batches.  When finished place onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Pat off excess oil with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble salads: start with your largest slices of fried eggplant, then spoon a 1/2 teaspoon of pesto on top.  Stack a slice of mozzarella and a tomato on top of that and repeat till you have two tiers.  Finish with a dollop of pesto and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Season slightly with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.  Enjoy!


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One thought on “Eggplant Caprese Salad

  1. Pingback: Shredded Pesto Chicken Linguini « Cooking with Aurora

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