Lake Isle Press

Arugula and Mozzarella Salad with Eggplant Caponata

Delicious Mediterranean salad perfect for cold or warm weather.

Arugula and Mozzarella Salad with Eggplant Caponata

Ingredients

    For the Caponata:
  • 1 large eggplant, diced into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chile pepper flakes
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado or raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves cut into a chiffonade (long, thin strips)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves cut into a chiffonade
  • For the salad:
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons fine extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Directions

Total time: 1 hour / serves 10

Make the caponata: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the eggplant in 2 tablespoons olive oil and spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until cooked, stirring halfway through.

Toast the pine nuts for 5 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet in the over (you can do this while you roast the eggplant).

In a medium pan, saute the shallots over medium heat in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft and starting to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chile flakes, tomatoes, sugar, currants, vinegar, tomato puree, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the eggplant, then stir in the pine nuts, mint, basil, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Make the salad: In a mixing bowl, toss the arugula with the fine olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the mozzarella.

To serve, mound the caponata in the center of a platter. Sprinkle the dressed arugula and mozzarella around the caponata.

Notes:
Served with crusty bread, this also makes a great main-dish salad. Or, skip the salad and just serve the caponata with bread if you feel that’s enough food.
The caponata can be made one day in advance; store covered in the regrigerator.

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