Fried Eggplant Caprese Salad with burrata. This twist on caprese salad is not only beautiful, but it’s a summer showstopper. The eggplant is classic Italian fried eggplant, lightly fried in breadcrumbs & grated parmesan. Caprese salad highlights summer produce beautifully, but did you know eggplant is in season too? Crispy fried eggplant with juicy in season tomatoes, fresh garden basil, creamy burrata and drizzled with a sweet balsamic glaze. My mouth is watering as I write about it.
How to pick the right eggplant
Eggplant should feel heavy for its size. Pick up a few and see how they feel. The stem should still have some green & not be brown or dried out. The skin should be taut and not wrinkled. Choose a small to medium sized eggplant for the best taste.
When is eggplant in season?
Eggplant is a warm weather veg. It is in season Summer r(starting to pop up in July here on the East Coast) to early fall Sept-Oct.
Eggplant frying tips
There is an important step at the beginning of this recipe that you shouldn’t skip. After slicing the eggplant, sprinkle it with kosher salt and let it sit on a plate or in a colander in your sink. Salt draws out some of the moisture. Let the eggplant sit like this about 10 minutes and then pat dry with paper towels. This step keeps the eggplant from being mushy and helps the breading stay on during the frying process.
Caprese Salad Ingredients
- Fried Eggplant: delicious, in season. You can substitute with fried zucchini as well.
- Burrata: I love burrata especially with the fried eggplant, it’s creamy and salty and so good. But you can use mozzarella as well.
- Tomatoes: any tomato works for this recipe, use your favorite. I like smaller cherry/grape tomatoes for stacking and even juicy roma and beefsteak tomatoes.
- Balsamic Glaze: I love using store bought balsamic glaze, but homemade is really simple. In a small sauce pan put 1 cup balsamic vinegar & 1/4 cup brown sugar. Heat on medium until sugar is dissolved and then bring to a boil – stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Flaky Salt: I love using Maldon flaky salt as a finishing salt. A huge component of this dish is seasoning. The tomatoes & burrata are amped up to perfection with a hit of flaky salt like this one.
From the Kitchen
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When you make this fried eggplant caprese salad, please share your thoughts in the comments or tag me on Instagram @quartersoulcrisis. I really love hearing for you, but if anything please come back and give it a rating! It helps my website a lot & I really love to come back and add your notes to the post.
Looking for similar Italian recipes? My Classic Italian Chicken Cutlets are crispy, thin, delicious and made with the exact same steps as the fried eggplant.
Fried Eggplant Caprese Salad with Burrata & Balsamic Glaze
- 1 lb eggplant graffiti, baby, or Italian are best*
- kosher salt
- 3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs*
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/4 cup avocado oil* you may need more! see note
- 8 oz burrata
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or sliced, Beefsteak tomatoes*
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves more for serving
- balsamic glaze optional, but delicious
- flaky salt optional, but delicious
- Prep Eggplant: cut eggplant into 1/4-1/2inch thick slices. Place eggplant slices in a colander & sprinkle a big pinch salt over the slices. Toss it a little to coat. Let them sit while you prepare the breadcrumbs & oil (about 10 minutes).
- Prepare Breadcrumbs: On one shallow plate or bowl, add beaten egg. On another shallow plate or bowl, add breadcrumbs & cheese and mix it up until incorporated (make sure to season using notes below if using plain breadcrumbs).
- Bread Eggplant: Shake colander over the sink to dispose of any extra water. Pat the eggplant dry really well with paper towels. Bread them by dipping eggplant in egg first, coating it and then transfer to breadcrumbs. Coat eggplant with breadcrumbs, press them into the eggplant. Place breaded eggplant slices to the side until they are all finished up. When nearing the end of the breading process, cover the bottom of a large skillet lightly with oil. Heat avocado oil on medium-high heat. You may have to work in 2 batches if breadcrumbs burn quickly*.
- Fry Eggplant: Double line a large plate or try with paper towels. The oil should sizzle as the first piece of eggplant hits the pan. If it doesn't wait another minute or two before frying the others. Add breaded eggplant slices to pan without too much crowding. Fry each piece 2-3 minutes on one side, flip and repeat another 2 minutes, until golden brown on each side. Once golden on both sides, remove eggplant & place on line paper towel to drain. Work in batches until all eggplant is fried.
- Prepare Caprese: Slice beefsteak tomatoes in 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Slice cherry tomatoes in thick slices. Pick basil. Leave the basil in whole leaves or tear basil pieces.
- Assemble: Place burrata on the plate and lightly tear open. Arrange tomatoes and eggplant around the burrata. I like to arrange the eggplant mostly together so they do not get too wet from the tomato while it sits. Add lots of basil. I also love to serve these as stacks. Sprinkle wit flaky salt & drizzle with balsamic glaze if using.