Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Eggplant Caprese-style salad

1 hour prepare 0 minutes to cookServes 4



Caprese salad (literally, the salad from Capri) is the perfect summertime dish for cooks in a hurry; washing and slicing is the hardest part.

The salad was created in the 1950s at the Trattoria da Vincenzo for regulars out for a light lunch. They were used to order a just-picked tomato and fresh fior di latte mozzarella cheese. The salad has evolved on the island to include a few leaves of rocket and a pinch of dried wild oregano, both local products; everywhere else in Italy it takes the form of tomato, mozzarella and basil.

Today we enriched the basic recipe by adding deep fried eggplant slices and raw ham. I know we are supposed to be training and dieting during summertime...but I was hungry! Ha-ha
Anyway, the result was amazing, and I decided to suggest you a tasty alternative to the traditional recipe: the choice is up to you, dear.

The dressing - the same as for Caprese salad - is always a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil with basil. Vinegar would destroy the delicate flavour of the cheese and is never used. Because this salad is so simple, top-rate ingredients are imperative: choose the best, you won't regret it!.

Here are ingredients for a 4-serving recipe:


1 eggplant
3 ripe tomatoes 
90 g raw ham
10 basil leaves
125 g buffalo mozzarella cheese
1 l seed oil
EVO oil
salt and pepper

  1. Prepare the eggplant the same way as for Pasta alla Norma (check the recipe here) or eggplant parmigiana (if you missed it, it is here): wash and dry it, then cut off its peduncle. Peel eggplant “half-way”, and slice it longitudinally about half a centimeter thick
  2. Place eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle them with cooking salt. Top with an upturned plate and place a weight above it. Let them sit for 1 hour
  3. When this time has passed, carefully rinse the eggplants and place them to dry well on a clean cloth
  4. Deep fry eggplants in abundant seed oil until they are nicely browned and soft, without crowding. Remove to a plate covered with paper towels and sprinkle with salt
  5. Meanwhile, wash tomatoes, remove their seeds and slice them. Place them in a colander to drain
  6. Cut buffalo mozzarella into thin slices and place it in the colander to drain, too
  7. Wash and chop basil leaves. Place the basil in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of EVO oil, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix well
  8. Arrange alternate slices of tomato, fried eggplant, raw ham and mozzarella cheese decoratively on a serving platter. Sprinkle the salad with the basil flavoured EVO oil and serve immediately!

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

Capri, reina de roca,
en tu vestido de color amaranto y azucena
viví desarrollando la dicha y el dolor,
la viña llena de radiantes racimos
que conquisté en la tierra*
(Pablo Neruda)

*Capri, queen of rock,
in your dress the colour of amaranth and lily where I lived,
experiencing happiness and pain,
the vine brimming with radiant clusters
that conquered the earth

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