Grilled Eggplant and Squash Caprese (Kitchen Bootcamp)

This month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge is flying by… In fact, it’s almost time for this month’s roundup.  I’ll be posting everyone’s Kitchen Bootcamp salads and dressings on Saturday, so you still have a few days to submit a post. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone’s been working on!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share another quick salad creation with you.  We’ve had our share of heavy meals lately, and last week I was really craving something light and easy for dinner.  This grilled eggplant and squash caprese salad is what I came up with. It was simple, fast, and used up a bunch of veggies from our CSA, too! Instead of adding basil leaves to the salad, I made a quick basil oil to dress the salad.

This is one of those dishes that tastes like it’s much harder to make than it really is. Feel free to serve it to your friends and family and take lots of compliments… I won’t tell anyone that it only took a few minutes to throw together!

Grilled Eggplant and Squash Caprese

(Makes approximately 4 servings)

For the grilled eggplant and squash:

  • 1 small Japanese eggplant
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the basil oil:

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (to desired consistency)

To finish the salad:

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

Preheat the grill to medium-high.  While the grill preheats, slice the eggplant and squash on a diagonal approximately 1/4-1/2 inches thick.  In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Brush each slice of eggplant/squash with the oil right before placing oiled side down on the grill.  Grill for a few 3-4 minutes and then brush with oil before flipping and grilling for another 2-3 minutes on the other side.  Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool slightly.

Prepare the basil oil by combining the fresh basil leaves and olive oil in a food processor or blender.  Process until smooth.

To complete the salad, slice the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Stack the tomato and mozzarella slices alternately with the grilled eggplant and squash slices.  Top each salad with some of the basil oil and one tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar.  Enjoy!

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18 Responses to Grilled Eggplant and Squash Caprese (Kitchen Bootcamp)
  1. Jessica @ How Sweet
    July 26, 2010 | 8:04 am

    That basil oil sounds so good. I want to top a salad with that today!

  2. RhodeyGirl
    July 26, 2010 | 9:14 am

    This looks insanely amazing.

  3. Eliana
    July 26, 2010 | 9:52 am

    This looks like the perfect summer dish. Love all the colors as well as the balsamic drizzle. I love all things balsamic.

  4. Roxan
    July 26, 2010 | 9:58 am

    Jen this looks delicious! All your veggies are perfectly grilled, I think I can almost taste them. Grilled caprese is a most excellent idea.

  5. Mags
    July 26, 2010 | 10:05 am

    That looks absolutely delicious Jen! And a great way to use all my summer veggies!

  6. Kristy Denney
    July 26, 2010 | 11:54 am

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try.

  7. Kelly @ EvilShenanigans
    July 26, 2010 | 3:45 pm

    Wow … that looks amazing! I love the lighting on the last pic, BTW. Yum!

  8. Jennifer @ maple n cornbread
    July 26, 2010 | 5:47 pm

    BRILLIANT!!!! I just cooked some ratatouille tonight and was trying to come up with more dinners with eggplant. Im SO making this!

  9. Liana
    July 26, 2010 | 8:02 pm

    Nothing beats a caprese salad on a summer day. The bocconccini is the perfect cheese fix. I love how you added the grilled squash for some meaty texture to compliment the tomato. Nice alternative to lettuce!

  10. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite
    July 27, 2010 | 6:39 am

    “This is one of those dishes that tastes like it’s much harder to make than it really is. Feel free to serve it to your friends and family and take lots of compliments… I won’t tell anyone that it only took a few minutes to throw together!”

    Way to go to sell me on this dish Jen! I was just looking at Basil Oil last night and marked it to make on my return from vacation!

  11. Adelina
    July 28, 2010 | 12:49 am

    I love the picture and all the flavors. This recipe is a keeper for me.

  12. fooddreamer
    July 28, 2010 | 5:45 am

    This looks so good and fresh, I could eat it right through the computer!

  13. Magda
    July 28, 2010 | 10:24 am

    First of all congrats on top 9.
    Two, it looks like a vegetarian heaven, yum.

  14. Shree
    July 28, 2010 | 12:57 pm

    beautiful. that basil oil just sparkles!

  15. madge @ vegetariancasserolequeen
    July 28, 2010 | 2:48 pm

    Yum! I need a grill!

  16. Simply Life
    July 28, 2010 | 4:45 pm

    Wow! This looks great!

  17. Kevin (Closet Cooking)
    August 3, 2010 | 5:17 pm

    What a great way to enjoy summers bounty!

  18. Kathryn
    August 25, 2010 | 5:15 pm

    I love squash- it tastes great and it’s healthy, too! Have you ever tried squash pear soup? It’s awesome!

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