Inspired by Rachael Ray
With gardens abundant with eggplant in the late summer, this recipe can help you enjoy this much-maligned nightshade. Eggplant is rich in a phytonutrient called nasunin, which has been shown to protect brain cell membranes from damage. Eggplant also features phenolic anti-oxidant compounds which support heart health and are cancer-preventive.
- 2 eggplants, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- 3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced into rounds
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds
- 3 cups arugula (or other mixed lettuce greens)
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon rosemary sprigs, minced
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and let sit on a towel or colander for 15 minutes to sweat.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Warm oil, garlic and rosemary in a saucepan over low heat.
- Brush eggplant slices with oil mixture on both sides and cook on grill pan 2-3 minutes per side. Let cool on a plate.
- Spread arugula on a large, flat serving dish. Layer eggplant, tomato, basil and mozzarella on top in any design you like. Drizzle remaining oil over entirety of plate.
Note: In this photo, I also added a bit of prosciutto to the top of the salad for my son's birthday celebration as prosciutto is one of his favorite foods. It was indeed a tasty addition!
Also note: If you avoid dairy, you can substitute zucchini slices and brush and grill slices alongside the eggplant.