Eggplant Caprese with Balsamic Reduction Drizzle
Eggplant is naturally bitter and has a spongy texture, which people tend to either love or hate. The preparation of eggplant in this recipe removes the bitterness and makes a perfect foundation for the caprese. Add a drizzle of balsamic reduction, and even the biggest cynics will be left with their mouths watering.
- 1 large eggplant, skin on, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- Sea salt
- Olive oil spray
- 2 cups Balsamic vinegar of Modena
- 4 large whole tomatoes, sliced thick
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thick
- Fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the eggplant rounds onto a clean dishtowel. Lightly salt each side. Allow the eggplant to sit on the towel for 15-30 minutes to draw some of the water out.
- While you're waiting, prepare the balsamic reduction. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan and bring it to a gentle boil over medium-low to medium heat. Allow the balsamic to reduce for 10-20 minutes until it becomes a thick, but pourable glaze. Be careful not to let it burn. Once thickened, remove from heat and let it cool completely.
- Use the clean dish towel to press down on the eggplant slices to squeeze out some of the water. You'll be surprised at how much water is extracted. Spray each side of the rounds with an olive oil spray. Place the rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Allow the eggplant to cool.
- Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella into thick slices. Layer each eggplant round with a slice of tomato, mozzarella and two fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and the balsamic reduction. Lightly sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper, then savor the deliciousness!