Photo courtesy of The Mediterranean Dish
Welcome to 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet, our new blog series! It’s no secret that eating the Mediterranean way helps with heart health and weight loss. But fast-paced modern living makes it hard to stick to any diet, which is why each 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet post will feature a healthy Mediterranean recipe.
If you like caprese salads, you’re going to fall in love with this variation featuring fiber-rich roasted eggplant. There’s a meaty fullness and satiety that eggplant provides – a welcome addition to classic caprese.
Hint: if you skip the second bake in the “Prep & Cook” instructions, the warm, smoky eggplant contrasts wonderfully with the still-chilled mozzarella.
From The Mediterranean Dish
Makes 6 servings
1 eggplant, sliced into ½-inch rounds
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
Prep & Cook
- 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.
By: Laurentia Guesman,