Seared Baby Eggplant with Mozzarella and Basil Oil Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Seared Baby Eggplant with Mozzarella and Basil Oil

Basil oil is easy to make and will keep for 1 month in the fridge, so you might want to double the recipe to have some on hand for salads and roasted vegetables.


Ingredient Set Name: 

Basil Oil


Ingredient Line: 
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup olive oil

Ingredient Set Name: 



Ingredient Line: 
3 baby eggplants (1 lb.), sliced into 30 ½-inch-thick rounds
Ingredient Line: 
2 Tbs. olive oil
Ingredient Line: 
1 leek, halved, white and light green parts cut into half-moons
Ingredient Line: 
4 Tbs. white wine vinegar, divided
Ingredient Line: 
1 6-oz. ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into 6 rounds
Ingredient Line: 
2 Tbs. capers


1. To make Basil Oil: Blanch basil 5 seconds in 4 cups boiling, salted water. Drain, and plunge into ice water. Pat basil dry, then purée in blender with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Strain oil with mesh strainer, and discard basil.

2. To make Eggplant: Generously salt eggplant slices, and set in colander placed over bowl. Let stand 45 minutes to release liquid.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add leek, season with salt, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to bowl.

4. Coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Add half of eggplant slices, and season with salt. Cook 5 minutes, or until browned and caramelized, using spatula to move slices often to prevent sticking. Flip eggplant with spatula, add 2 Tbs. vinegar, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook 5 to 7 minutes more, or until vinegar has evaporated and second side of eggplant is caramelized. Remove eggplant slices to covered bowl to keep warm. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.

5. To serve: Place mozzarella slices on serving plates. Top each cheese slice with 5 slices eggplant, 1 Tbs. leek, 1 Tbs. Basil Oil, and sprinkling of capers. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information: 

6 g
Total Fat: 
20 g
Saturated Fat: 
5.5 g
9 g
22 mg
402 mg
2 g
3 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

This recipe is awesome! It was a pretty challenging dish to make, but well worth the end result. The basil oil was a little hard to make, but I think it added a lot to the dish. I followed the recipe exactly as it's written.