I never thought I liked eggplant. I remember having it as a kid I think in like a parmesan kind of dish. I remember it being mushy or rubbery, I can’t remember. Obviously since my memory of this food was so vague it was time to try it again.
My husband and I went out for our date night and grabbed a bite to eat in a local downtown restaurant. Friday nights are concert nights in the park too and we were lucky enough to get a seat outside and listen to the music as well.
I ordered a Caprese Salad with fried Eggplant. It was wonderful to say the least. I liked it so much I decided to make it at home the very next day. All I had to do (since it’s the end of August) was pick some vine ripened tomatoes from my garden and get some fresh organic mozzarella cheese and some mini eggplants.
I chose the mini eggplants (which I had never seen before by the way, maybe I just wasn’t looking) because that’s what the restaurant used. It was an appetizer that I had ordered and I wanted to duplicate that size so I was lucky enough to see them and grabbed two of them for my dinner.
The key ingredient here? The balsamic vinegar. You want one that is a higher quality and you’ll know that by the way it comes out of the bottle. It’s much thicker. The store bought ones are very watery and runny. I get all my olive oils and vinegars from a local store called Old World Olive Press and once you try quality oils and vinegars you’ll never buy store bought again – trust me on this one!
So I first peeled and cut my eggplant and I decided to use the salt trick. They say it takes the bitterness out of it. Just sprinkle a little salt on each piece on a plate or paper towel and let it sit for about 20 min. Rinse it off and pat dry. I’m not sure if this step is actually necessary or not, it’s up to you.
Then I dipped them in egg and homemade whole wheat bread crumbs and fried them up for 3 or 4 min per side.
There’s a nice crispy crunch that comes from the eggplant and it balances so well with the smoothness of the cheese. The tomatoes were out of this world! Picked just minutes before I sliced them and ate them. There is something so wonderful about nature and getting food minutes from the ground! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!Print
Caprese Salad with Fried Eggplant
- 2 mini eggplants (peeled and sliced)
- fresh organic mozzarella cheese (or Buffalo cheese)
- Vine ripened beefsteak tomatoes
- fresh basil leaves
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Quality balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- After slicing the eggplant put it on a plate or paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit for 20 min. Rinse off and pat dry
- Dip the eggplant in the egg and then the breadcrumbs
- Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan. Just enough to coat the bottom and let it heat up until if you sprinkle water on it it will spit.
- Add your eggplant and fry 3-4 min on each side.
- Drizzle some balsamic vinegar onto a plate and layer the tomatoes, cheese, basil and eggplant
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Recipe Source: HappilyUnprocessed.com
I used all organic ingredients whenever possible and hope you do too! 🙂
Nami | Just One Cookbook
Hi Debi! I also remember that eggplant wasn’t my favorite veggie growing up. Then I started to enjoy it when the eggplant was deep fried/baked – the crispy!! I especially love eggplant tempura and other dishes like this fried eggplant! So happy to find a new way to eat with caprese salad. They are crispy outside and soft inside.. I’ve been addicted to this texture for more than 15 years now. 😀 And agree about the good quality balsamic vinegar. Very delicious!
My only regret is how long it took me to try it again. Now I’m ADDICTED to it and to be totally honest plan on having it again tonite while all these wonderful flavors are still in season! thanks for your comment Nami