Crispy Eggplant Caprese Salad with Prosciutto
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Crispy pan fried eggplant and prosciutto are added to a traditional Caprese salad in this incredibly flavorful recipe that’s perfect as an appetizer, side dish or main dish!
Ever since I created this Stacked Beet Salad in 2015, I had the idea to create another stacked salad of sorts with eggplant parmesan. I ended up pairing the crispy eggplant with one of my favorite salads of all time, the Caprese salad.
In addition to adding the crispy eggplant, which gives the salad a nice crunch, I also added salty, flavorful, thinly sliced prosciutto. The result was seriously the best salad I’ve ever had!
This salad could easily be served as an appetizer, side dish or main dish. The colors are beautiful and the flavors are light, making it the perfect salad for spring and summer!
Table of contents
- Eggplant – a medium-size eggplant is perfect for this recipe. It should weigh somewhere around 1 pound, or slightly less.
- Heirloom tomatoes – any firm, ripe, large fresh tomatoes will work for this recipe, but I recommend using heirloom tomatoes in a variety of colors, whenever possible. This is part of what makes this dish so colorful and gorgeous!
- Fresh mozzarella cheese – you can use either a log or round of fresh mozzarella.
- Prosciutto – I recommend thinly-sliced for this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese
- Balsamic glaze – also called balsamic reduction, you can usually find this bottled at the grocery store near the other vinegars and oil.
- Olive iil
- Dried oregano
- Dried thyme
- Fresh basil leaves – you’ll want to find the largest leaves as possible for the salad. Any smaller leaves can be chopped up to use in the breading for the eggplant.
Step by step instructions
Prepare the breading ingredients for the eggplant. Place one large egg in a shallow bowl and whisk. In another shallow bowl, combine the oregano, thyme, chopped basil, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
Coat the eggplant slices. Dip the eggplant in the egg, then coat in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with each slice of eggplant.
Cook the eggplant. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the eggplant and cook for 3-5 minutes per side.
Flip. Use tongs to carefully turn over the slices and cook for additional 3-5 minutes or until browned.
Remove from the skillet and build the caprese salad. Place one slice of mozzarella cheese, one slice of heirloom tomato, a slice of prosciutto and basil leaf in between each piece of crispy eggplant, until you’ve used all of the eggplant.
Finish and enjoy! Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and serve.
Frequently asked questions
- Can you prep it ahead of time? The eggplant can be battered and fried ahead of time, and set aside to cool on a wire baking rack for up to 1 hour. This is perfect if you’re hosting a dinner party, because you can quickly and easily assemble the salad right before serving.
- Can you make it vegetarian? Yes, simply omit the prosciutto to make a vegetarian crispy eggplant caprese salad.
- Can you make it gluten free? Yes, just swap out the breadcrumbs in the eggplant breading, for gluten free breadcrumbs. The other ingredients in the recipe are naturally gluten free.
- How do you cook eggplant that’s not mushy? Before placing the eggplant in the oil, make sure that the oil is hot. If your oil is not hot enough it will absorb into the coating giving you soggy results. To check the oil temperature, add a few droplets of water, if they immediately sizzle, the oil is hot and ready to add the eggplant.
- Do you need to cook prosciutto? Because prosciutto is a cured ham, it does not need to be cooked before enjoying.
What to serve with caprese salad
Enjoy this caprese salad with prosciutto as a light lunch on it’s own, or serve it alongside any of these tasty dishes.
- Homemade Calzone
- The Best Pan Pizza
- Vegetarian Lasagna
- Easy Bolognese Sauce
- Pasta Boscaiola
- Baked Chilean Sea Bass with Pesto
More salad recipes to try
Salads are so much more than just lettuce and dressing! Keep things interesting with these easy and delicious recipes.
- Fuji Apple Chicken Salad
- Chicken Caesar Salad with Cashew Caesar Dressing
- Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
- Easy 10 Minute Broccoli Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Classic Panzanella Salad with Basil & Artichokes
Crispy Eggplant Caprese Salad with Prosciutto
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 medium-size eggplant, cut in ¼ inch slices
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 8 slices prosciutto
- 8 large basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction
- Place the egg in a shallow bowl and whisk.
- In another shallow bowl, combine the oregano, thyme, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
- Dip the eggplant in the egg, then coat in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Repeat with each slice of eggplant.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the eggplant and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until lightly browned.
- Remove the eggplant from the skillet and build the caprese salad.
- Place one slice of mozzarella, heirloom tomato, prosciutto and basil in between each piece of crispy eggplant. Repeat until the entire salad has been built.
- Drizzle with the balsamic reduction and serve immediately.
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