Crispy Eggplant Caprese Stacks

This is one of those recipes that, to me, is just inexplicably good. Simple, quality ingredients combine to make something that is so tasty it elicits an eye roll… at least in this house that’s the measure of deliciousness!

Caprese salad has always been a big favorite around here, but I’ve been eating mine this way as long as I can remember.

Well… maybe not every time with a naughty little piece of fried eggplant slipped in between. But that’s how it’s best – and you heard it here first!

Fresh basil, melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella and a juicy tomato combine with the crispy eggplant to make for an amazing flavor experience. Drizzled with a delicious mixture of good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, you’d think you were transported to the Mediterranean with one mouthful!

And, for the moment that I eat this in my pajamas, leaning over the counter in my kitchen because I have no time to eat a table all civilized-like, I am totally transported. You will be too, once you try it!

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Crispy Eggplant Caprese Stacks

Yield: Makes 2

Ingredients:

2 ripe tomatoes

1 8 oz. ball fresh mozzarella*

6-8 leaves fresh basil

1 Tablespoon olive oil, for skillet

6 (1/4-inch-thick) slices eggplant

1/4 cup flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

For dressing*:

2 Tablespoons good-quality olive oil

1 Tablespoon good-quality balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Slice tomatoes and mozzarella about 1/4-inch thick. Rinse and pat basil dry (you can keep it whole or tear into smaller pieces). Set aside.

Preheat a large skillet to medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Prepare eggplant slices by coating lightly in flour, then egg (shaking off excess), and then panko, all in separate dishes. Once skillet is hot, add eggplant slices and fry, in batches, about 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well-combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

On serving plates, build stacks by alternating tomato, mozzarella, eggplant, and basil. Repeat until you have 2 equal-sized stacks. Drizzle with dressing.

Enjoy!

Look for mozzarella that’s packaged resting in water. This ensures the most soft, delicious mozzarella!

You can also add a little lemon juice, dijon mustard, crushed red pepper flakes, etc., to this dressing. It’s not a strict formula – get creative, but keep it simple!

      

27 Responses to “Crispy Eggplant Caprese Stacks”

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    1
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — April 29, 2013 @ 1:29 am

    I just want to dig a fork and knife right into one of those beautiful stacks! I love caprese salads and baked or fried eggplant has always been a favorite too so I’m beaming over your creation! Hope you had a fun weekend, my dear!

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    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — April 29, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    This looks absoultely beautiful and delicious! Wishing I had this for my lunch today!

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    Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe — April 29, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    So fresh and yummy, perfect for Summer! Plus, caprese is a true staple here in Italy!

    xo, Elisa

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    4
    Teresa Blackburn — April 29, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    This is beautiful and is a great way to kick-start our summer of 2013…I have beautiful basil and there are a few good tomatoes in the markets so this recipe is just what I need for get in a summer-state-of-mind.

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    5
    Pam — April 29, 2013 @ 10:54 am

    Beautiful and delicious! Great photos.

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    6
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — April 29, 2013 @ 11:11 am

    Panko crusted eggplant!!!! Drooliing already at 9am. This is even better than regular caprese! I never thought of adding fried eggplant in caprese. Brilliant idea that I will sure to try!

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    Bree {Skinny Mommy} — April 29, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    Oh my gosh these are divine!

  8. #
    8
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — April 29, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

    Love love love! That’s about all I can say :).

  9. #
    9
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste — April 29, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

    These are stunning! What a wonderful tower of flavors!

  10. #
    10
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl — April 29, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    YUM! I absolutely adore eggplant…now that is something that I never thought that I would say! ;)

  11. #
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    Cassie | Bake Your Day — April 29, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    This is gorgeous, Georgia! I love caprese as-is but the crispy eggplant is a great addition!

  12. #
    12
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — April 29, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

    Love the crispy eggplant mixed in with this salad. Gorgeous as well!

  13. #
    13
    Rachel @ Bakerita — April 29, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    My roommate and I are totally drooling over here, and you’ve inspired us to make dinner soon, where we are DEFINITELY making this! It looks so wonderfully good. Pinned it!

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    14
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — April 29, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

    Ooh, crispy eggplant! This looks like the perfect summer dinner. And it’s so pretty too!

  15. #
    15
    Kelsey — April 29, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

    Oh my…this is like summer on a plate. I know I’ll be making this soon and often.

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    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker — April 30, 2013 @ 12:26 am

    Beautiful salad! Love the addition of eggplant in a Caprese. Lovely post.

  17. #
    17
    CCU — April 30, 2013 @ 1:39 am

    Vegetables never looked so delicious :D

    Cheers
    CCU

  18. #
    18
    Joanne — April 30, 2013 @ 5:49 am

    This meal totally screams summer! I love that piece of fried eggplant mixed in there…just a bit of decadence in an otherwise totally healthy meal!

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    The Café Sucre Farine — April 30, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    Oh my goodness, I love everything about this, so fun to have wonderful Caprese salad for days when tomatoes aren’t at their peak yet. It seems that the eggplant is the star here.

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    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion — April 30, 2013 @ 11:52 am

    I want to like eggplant… maybe this is teh recipe to change that… looks good.

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    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — April 30, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

    I have no time to eat in a civilized fashion either, but I have PLENTY of time to eat these stacks of gorgeous goodness! I love balsamic and could pretty much drink the stuff solo, but I think it’d be much better drizzled on top of these beautiful eggplant caprese stacks!

  22. #
    22
    Carolyn — May 1, 2013 @ 11:16 am

    I just added you to my Bloglovin’ feed so I no longer miss your posts. And I don’t want to miss beauties like this! Just gorgeous.

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    Honey What's Cooking — May 1, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

    this looks so good.. i like caprese anything too. OMG, don’t remind me of the Mediterranean… it may be the best place on earth!!! I had a caprese sandwich in Nice, France, it was out of this world.

  24. #
    24
    Jeanette — May 1, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

    Wow, what a gorgeous tower! I love the crispy eggplant you added to these caprese stacks!

  25. #
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    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — May 2, 2013 @ 9:57 am

    Wow! That’s a tower of yummyness!

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    Patty — May 2, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

    Gorgeous!! So fresh looking and love seeing the sliced eggplant peeking out of all that deliciousness ;-)

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    Mandy - The Complete Cook Book — May 23, 2013 @ 7:40 am

    Can’t wait to make these, what gorgeous food.
    :-) Mandy xo

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