Heirloom Tomato and Roasted Eggplant Salad with Smoked Mozzarella

  • 6 baby eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced into 1/2” thick disks
  • 1 ball fresh smoked mozzarella cheese, I like Maplebrook Farm
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • micro greens or micro basil
  • Maldon salt (for finishing)

To prepare the vinaigrette chop the garlic, oregano and thyme together. Sprinkle the mixture with a pinch of kosher salt. Using the flat side of your knife, crush the herbs and garlic with the salt on the cutting board. The salt will act as an abrasive; keep crushing and scraping the mixture until it forms a paste. Transfer this paste to a medium bowl. Add the crushed red pepper, vinegars and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste, whisk and set aside. In a large frying pan over high heat with a bit of olive oil, brown the baby eggplant on the cut side. Flip and cook the rest of the way (about 5 minutes on each side). Remove the cooked eggplant and transfer them into the bowl with the vinaigrette to marinate for 10 minutes. To assemble your salad: arrange the disks of tomatoes on a large platter. Slice the smoked mozzarella cheese into thin slices and layer them over the tomatoes. Remove the eggplant from the dressing and layer them on top of the cheese. Sprinkle lightly with Maldon salt and top with micro greens or micro basil. Spoon extra vinaigrette around the platter and serve immediately.