When I have a day off, all I do is blog cook.
Which means that I completely and totally trash my kitchen, using every single pot/pan/utensil/kitchen towel. As much as I love the creative process of food blogging, the clean-up aspect is definitely not a favorite side bonus. So that’s why I try to make a lot of easy dishes that can be made in one skillet, one pot, or one baking sheet. It’s because I am truly lazy and do not want to drag the huge stockpot from the far corner of my pantry…
My laziness in the clean-up department means that this salad was the perfect option for my easy, minimal kitchen utensil cooking process. It took one knife, one cutting board, and my salad spinner. Oh and a couple spoons… but those go in the dishwasher so they don’t count!
Stacked Caprese Salads are beautiful, look impressive, and cannot be easier to put together. Plus you can make the grilled eggplant component ahead of time and assemble later, which really makes this super easy.
And keeps my kitchen (mostly) pristine.
It starts with a plate.
And a small bed of arugula. It adds a bit of bite to the whole salad.
The place one circle of tomato on the bed of greens.
Smear on a bit of pesto… homemade or store-bought!
Then add a piece of fresh mozzarella.
And a slice of grilled eggplant.
Then repeat with as many layers as you wish!
As you can see from the picture, I was a bit neurotic and wanted the salad to look round like a tomato… but you do not have to do this! It looks just as pretty stacked with different sizes of eggplant and tomato slices.
The final addition is a drizzle of balsamic glaze – a thick balsamic reduction. You can make it yourself BUT it is much easier to buy it… (remember my fail last year?).
This salad is summer at it’s finest… lunch and my kitchen never looked so good!
So, kiddos, are you as messy as I am in the kitchen?
Your mess makin’ friend,
This recipe was featured in i’mperfect magazine’s section, Perfect Eats! See it here – http://im-perfectmagazine.com/recipe-stacked-caprese-salad/
- 1 medium-sized eggplant
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ + ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2-3 slices fresh tomato, about 3-4-inches in diameter
- 2-3 slices grilled eggplant
- 2-3 slices fresh mozzarella, about 1oz each
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
- 1 cup arugula
- Slice the eggplant into ¾-inch slices (approximately 8-10 slices per eggplant). Lay the slices in a colander in a sink (or over a bowl) and salt the slices with 1½ teaspoons of kosher salt. Set the eggplant slices aside for 15 minutes to draw out the excess liquid and bitterness. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt and pat it dry.
- Coat the eggplant slices with the olive oil, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and the black pepper. Place the slices on a pre-heated grill (I heat my gas grill on medium-high heat) and cook the slices for 4-5 minutes per side or until they become slightly charred and have good grill marks.
- Set the eggplant aside while you assemble the other ingredients for the salad.
- Mound arugula in the center of a plate. Then place a slice of tomato on top of the arugula. Spread a thin layer of pesto over the tomato then lay on one slice of the mozzarella. Place the slice of grilled eggplant over the mozzarella. Continue to stack until you finish all your ingredients. Drizzle the whole salad with the balsamic glaze. Then dig in!