Layers of eggplant, herbs, and mozzarella cheese create a savory tower with Italian flavors. The vinaigrette is so good you’ll want to make it for other salads.
- Tomato-Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Tomato - 1 large, peeled, seeded, and diced
- White Onion - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
- Fresh basil - 1/4 cup, chopped
- Dijon mustard - 1/3 cup
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1/3 cup
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Ground Pepper - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Worcestershire sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Olive Oil - 1-1/2 cups
- Chive-infused Oil
- Garlic Cloves - 2
- Fresh Chives - 1/4 cup, snipped
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Olive Oil - 3/4 cup
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Garlic Cloves - 4, crushed
- Mixed Fresh Herbs - 2 tablespoons, minced (basil, tarragon, thyme, oregano, parsley, cilantro)
- Italian eggplants - 2 large, 2 large Italian eggplants, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
- Mushrooms - 1 pound, thinly sliced
- Smoked mozzarella cheese - 8 ounces, thinly sliced
- Black Olives - 1 cup, pitted and finely chopped
- Maui or other sweet white onion - 1 large, finely diced
- Red Bell Peppers - 2, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Mixed fresh opal and green basil - 2 tablespoons, chopped
- Romano cheese - 2 tablespoons, grated
To make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Let sit for 10 minutes, then gradually whisk in the oil. If the dressing is too thick, add a little cool water. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the chive oil: Put the garlic, chives, and salt in a blender or food processor and puree. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and pour into a squeeze bottle.
To make the napoleon: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Lightly brush the eggplant with this mixture on both sides. In a large saute pan or skillet over high heat, saute the eggplant for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned and crisp. Set aside to cool. Repeat the process with the mushrooms.
To serve: Pool 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette on each salad plate. On each plate, layer ingredients in the following order: eggplant, cheese, olives, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Finish with eggplant. Sprinkle each napoleon with 1/2 tablespoon basil and 1/2 tablespoon romano cheese. Decorate the rim of each plate with chive oil from the squeeze bottle.