Caprese salad is traditionally made with buffalo mozzarella but I love the addition of grilled eggplant to make it a more filling one plate meal. If you want to make a larger portion, simply double the ingredients.
- 1 large eggplant/aubergine, sliced into 0.5cm thick disks
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 5–6 tablespoons olive oil (more if needed)
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 7–8 cherry tomatoes, halved (1 large tomatoes can be sliced instead)
- 70–80 grams soft mozzarella cheese (buffalo mozzarella is best), sliced
- 8–10 medium basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- extra sea salt and pepper to season
- Slice the eggplant and spread the disks on a chopping board or a plate. Sprinkle evenly with sea salt. Leave for 5-10 minutes to draw out some of the juices. This will make the eggplant less oil hungry.
- Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat (not too hot as to not burn the oil too much). Once hot, add the eggplant slices and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear. You will need to drizzle more oil over the slices as they will absorb the oil instantly and they will not cook properly if left too dry. Don’t panic too much about the amount of olive oil used, it’s all good stuff and not a problem in a lower carbohydrate dish such as this one.
- Once cooked, layer the eggplant on a larger serving plate and set aside.
- Add a little more olive oil to the frying pan and add the garlic slices. Cook over medium-high heat for a minute or so on each side, until golden brown.
- Top the eggplant slices evenly with mozzarella slices, tomato halves, basil leaves and fried garlic. Drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and season with a little extra sea salt and pepper.