Grilled Eggplant with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil Vinaigrette
- For the basil vinaigrette:
- 2 large eggplants, sliced into 3/4-inch rounds
- 1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large tomato, seeded and diced (I used an heirloom tomato because they’re awesome, but any old tomato will do)
- 8 ounce fresh mozzarella (1 average ball), sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, packed
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
1.Slice your eggplants into ¾ inch rounds. Sprinkle both sides of each round with salt and place them on a paper towel lined plate. Let rest for 20 minutes.
2.While your eggplant is resting, prepare the basil vinaigrette. Place all of the ingredients for the basil vinaigrette in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
3.In a small bowl, toss the diced tomatoes with ½ teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside until ready to use.
4.Heat your grill or grill pan over medium heat. Pat the eggplant dry (the salt will have drawn the excess moisture out of the eggplant…magic!) and brush both sides of each round with olive oil and season with a little extra salt. Grill the rounds for about 8 minutes on each side or until very tender. Remove eggplant from the grill and let it cool to room temperature.
5.When grilled eggplant is cool, layer the rounds with slices of fresh mozzarella.
6.Top the eggplant and mozzarella with the diced tomato.
7.Drizzle the basil vinaigrette on top and serve your grilled eggplant masterpiece at room temperature.