Eggplant, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella simply belong together. In the past I have breaded and fried the eggplant for this salad, but last night I decided to be brave and try a healthier cooking method. Roasting the eggplant at a high heat for 15 minutes on each side gave it a crispy texture that added so much to the salad.
Ingredients for 4 servings
1 eggplant, thinly sliced (a little smaller than 1/4 inch thick)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
Cooking oil (I use sunflower seed oil or coconut oil because you can actually smell the original ingredient in them — they are far less processed than canola or other cooking oils.)
2 roasted red peppers, cut in large pieces
2 tomatoes, chopped
20 small balls fresh mozzarella (bocconcini)
2 small heads of romaine lettuce, cut to bite sized pieces
Extra virgin olive oil, good quality
Balsamic vinegar, good quality
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a small dish. Lay the eggplant slices out on 2 lightly oiled cookie sheets, and sprinkle with the salt mixture. Turn them over and sprinkle the other side, then place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Assemble the chopped romaine lettuce in a bowl or in individual salad bowls. Sprinkle the tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella cheese on top, and add the eggplant pieces on top. Sprinkle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy!