Grilled Eggplant Caprese Salad With Balsamic Reduction
It is so nice to be able to entertain friends or family, especially when the weather is warm and you can spend more time outdoors. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that family dinners are my favourite way to enjoy food — but I know it can be a little bit overwhelming to make food for sharing if you’ve never done it before.
Simple, healthy meals done well are always a good way to go — especially when they look as lovely as this Caprese salad. This salad and balsamic reduction recipe is perfect for sharing and it is deliciously healthy too. The best part? While it's the perfect summer salad, you can enjoy it at any time of the year!
Grilled eggplant (aubergine) Caprese salad with balsamic reduction
A healthy salad filled with yummy flavours — and that looks incredible — is just what you need for entertaining.
If you’ve never made balsamic vinegar reduction before, take a moment to read the notes further down for some simple tips on how to help make your salad a success!
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 as a side dish
Dietary preferences: Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Nut-free
- 1 medium eggplant (aubergine), sliced into 1cm rounds
- Oil spray
- Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 2-3 large tomatoes, sliced into 1cm rounds
- 200g (7 oz) fresh mozzarella, sliced into 0.5cm rounds
- Fresh basil leaves, to serve
- 250ml (1 cup) balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 bay leaf
1. Preheat a barbecue grill plate or chargrill pan over medium heat.
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the eggplant (aubergine) slices on the lined baking tray and lightly spray both sides with oil spray. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Grill the eggplant (aubergine) slices for 3-4 minutes on each side or until slightly charred and tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
4. To make the balsamic reduction, place the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and bay leaf in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vinegar has reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally. When the reduction coats the back of a spoon, it is thick enough. Keep an eye on it toward the end of the cooking time so it doesn’t burn.
5. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
6. To serve, arrange slices of eggplant (aubergine), tomato, mozzarella and basil leaves on a serving plate. Repeat the pattern until the ingredients are finished. Drizzle over the balsamic reduction and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Enjoy!
How to make balsamic reduction
If you’ve never made a balsamic reduction before, don’t be scared to try! It is super simple to make and you can use it on so many dishes.
When simmering the balsamic vinegar, I highly recommend switching the kitchen range hood on or opening a window. The smell of the vinegar can be quite strong, so try to keep the area ventilated while you prepare it.
Once you’ve made the balsamic reduction, you can store any leftover in an airtight container in the fridge. When you remove it from the fridge, you might find the reduction has set. Place the container in a bowl of warm water to help soften it and then use as normal.
Enjoy my Caprese salad with balsamic reduction!
I love the combination of colours and flavours in this salad — the eggplant (aubergine) might seem unexpected but it is so good!
To serve this salad, I would probably pair it with some grilled chicken or alongside healthy skewers that you have cooked on the barbecue.
I hope you enjoy this dish — I’d love to see some of your photos!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.