Baked Caprese Salad

, from Issue #53. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Baked Caprese Salad

Usually served as a cold salad, my warm version has balsamic baked tomatoes with warm melting mozzarella and fresh basil. I’ve popped them on top of roasted eggplant but they are delicious served as is, with plenty of crusty bread.

Serves: 4-8


8 medium-sized firm but ripe tomatoes, stem on
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon brown sugar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To finish
1 large ball fresh mozzarella in whey, drained (I used Clevedon Valley Buffalo)
8 large basil leaves

Eggplant ‘Croutons’
1 large purple eggplant
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Combine the olive oil with all the remaining ingredients and pour half the mixture into a shallow baking dish.

Halve the tomatoes and place the bottom halves cut side up in the dish and the tops stem side up. Spoon the remaining olive oil mixture over the tomatoes and bake for 10-15 minutes or until tender but not falling apart.

Top the bottom halves with a slice of mozzarella and return to the oven for 2 minutes to just warm the mozzarella. Remove from the oven and place a basil leaf over the mozzarella and then place the stemmed halves on top. Serve as is or place each tomato on the Eggplant ‘Croutons’ if making and spoon over some of the cooking juices. 

Eggplant ‘Croutons’: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Slice the eggplant into 8 rounds and brush both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a flat baking tray and roast for 15 minutes or until tender but not falling apart, turning once during cooking.