Light and delicious Eggplant Caprese combines a classic caprese salad with grilled eggplant. This is the best summer dish when tomatoes and eggplant are in season. Add some balsamic vinegar for a tangy dressing and you get an amazing summer side dish or light main dish full of fresh flavors.
Is there anything more summery than picking up some garden vegetables and using the grill to make dinner? Well, that’s what you have with this eggplant caprese. It’s light and flavorful and a wonderful way to eat summer veggies.
What is Caprese?
Traditionally, a caprese salad is made with fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves. It’s often dressed with olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar.
Of course, you can add things to it as I have with this eggplant caprese. It has all of the classic ingredients plus delicious grilled eggplant. It’s a wonderful dish for a light dinner, too.
This eggplant caprese is my favorite kind of summer recipe. There’s nothing better than garden-fresh tomatoes and eggplant and grilling is so easy to do.
We love this dish with grilled meat rolls or sometimes we just have it as a meal all by itself with some delicious homemade Italian bread on the side. If you want the perfect summer recipe, you have to try this easy grilled eggplant caprese.
- Eggplant – I like to use a medium to large size globe eggplant.
- Tomatoes – You can use large ones and chop them or try grape or cherry tomatoes.
- Dried oregano
- Chopped fresh basil leaves
- Fresh mozzarella – You can use a medium-sized ball and cut it into bite-sized pieces or use mini mozzarella balls.
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
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How to Make Eggplant Caprese
Slice the eggplant and place the slices in a large bowl. Add salt and toss to combine. Let the eggplant slices sit for 20 to 30 minutes. This will draw out excess moisture and the bitter flavor. You don’t need to drain them after they’ve sat – just take them out of the bowl.
Grill the slices on an outdoor grill or on a stovetop grill pan until they are tender and have nice char marks.
To make the caprese salad, combine the tomatoes, seasonings, cheese, and olive oil in a large bowl.
Place the grilled eggplant on a serving platter.
Spoon the tomato mixture over the top. Drizzle the vinegar over the top and garnish with the chopped basil for serving.
Should you peel eggplant for grilling?
No, you don’t need to peel it. If you prefer you can, sometimes the skin can cause bitterness, depending on how old the eggplant is.
Can you make eggplant caprese salad ahead?
You can make it a few hours ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend chilling it for too long because the texture of the tomatoes will change, but a few hours ahead should be fine. You might want to wait to add the basil and balsamic until you’re ready to serve it.
How to store leftover Caprese
Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated. It will keep 1-2 days in the fridge.
How to Make a Caprese Stack
For a fun presentation like my eggplant Parmesan stacks, you can make caprese stacks with this recipe. Slice the eggplant and cheese so you have pieces that are approximately the same size. Use large tomatoes and slice them the same size, too.
Grill the eggplant pieces and then stack them with the cheese and tomato slices, alternating to create a layered stack. You can also layer the basil leaves in there, too. Drizzle the balsamic over the top of the stacks for serving.
This is such an easy way to use grilled eggplant in a dish. The flavors are so fresh – it tastes like summer on a plate! Give this eggplant caprese a try before the summer’s over and I know you’ll love it. Enjoy!
More Recipes to Try
Italian Grilled Eggplant Caprese
- 1 medium/large eggplant (I used the round eggplant)
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large tomatoes (ripe but firm or 10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes)
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1-2 pinches salt
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves (chopped)
- 1 large mozzarella (or 2 medium chopped or small mozzarella balls) (200 grams)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Slice the eggplant crosswise, thin but not too thin. Place in a large bowl and toss with 1-2 teaspoons of salt. Let sit 20-30 minutes. Do not drain.
- Using a pan grill or bbq grill the eggplant on both sides.
- In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, oregano, salt, basil, mozzarella and olive oil.
- Place the grilled eggplant on a large plate and top with the tomato mixture. Add some fresh basil leaves before serving. Enjoy!