Eggplant Caprese Tower

I love a good restaurant recreation as much as the next person… But often times it’s not as good as the real thing, or it takes at least a couple of trials to get it right. Then there are those times when the recreation, although slightly different from the inspiration, turns into something just as good as the real thing, and not disappointing at all. That’s how I felt about my Paul Manno’s Eggplant Caprese Tower with Balsamic Reduction recreation. The original version offers flavorful pieces of fried eggplant layered between tomatoes and fresh mozzarella; I decided to grill my breaded eggplant before stacking it between heirloom tomatoes and creamy mozzarella. This fabulous summer dish is finished with balsamic reduction and basil chiffonade, rounding out a dish that is just as pretty as it is tasty. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy in-season, juicy tomatoes!

(To see my other restaurant recreations, click on the links: Tostada TowerBlack Lentils, with Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onions, Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowl)
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Eggplant Caprese Tower with Balsamic Reduction

What You Need

  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 8 1/2-inch slices
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 red heirloom tomato, cut into 4 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 yellow heirloom tomato, cut into 4 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 balls of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup basil chiffonade
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

What To Do

  1. In a small sauce pan, bring 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a boil. As soon as the vinegar boils, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until vinegar is to desired thickness. Be sure to stir occasionally. Balsamic reduction should stick to the back of a spoon. It will thicken slightly once it is cooled. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium heat or preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bread the 8 slices of eggplant by dipping first in the flour, shaking off the excess. Next, dredge eggplant in the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Place each piece on a plate until ready to grill/cook. If you're grilling eggplant, grill about 10-12 minutes on each side. To cook in the oven, place eggplant on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 20 minutes on each side.
  3. When eggplant is cooked, prepare 4 plates, starting with a red tomato slice, a piece of eggplant, followed by a slice of cheese. Repeat with a yellow tomato slice, a piece of eggplant and another piece of cheese. Top tower with cracked pepper and salt, and 1/4 cup of basil chiffonade. Finally, drizzle tower with balsamic reduction.

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