To me, this is the perfect meal to end a glorious summer day! I am going to sit back tonight with a glass of wine, and some crusty bread. I am going to be in Mediterranean heaven with this delicious vegan version of a Caprese salad. If you are going to make your own mozzarella for this just plan to make the Caperse on the following day. (Awesome freah Mozzarella recipe below.)
Right now the fields here in Vermont are bursting with gorgeous ripe tomatoes, eggplant, and basil so this dish is actually 90% locally sourced! It comes together pretty quickly, the only thing is you should make the mozzarella a day ahead so it has time to firm up in the refrigerator.
For the mozzarella you will need a high speed blender, sauce pan and a wooden fork, or spoon.
Mozzarella:(adapted from carrots and flowers blog)
*get a bowl of salted ice cold water set up and set aside*
1 cup of cashews
2 1/2 cups of water
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Sea salt
1. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add to a sauce pan. Turn to medium low.
3/4 cup of tapioca starch(flour)
2. Stir constantly until it’s thick and stretchy.
3. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop cheese balls out of the sauce pan and float in the ice water. Repeat until all the cheese is made into balls. Keep in the refrigerator overnight.
Pictures below is mozzarella that has set up overnight. As you can see it slices beautifully and is ready to eat! Makes a great grilled cheese:)
Prep everything first.
2 long and slender eggplant, sliced 1/2″ thick. It’s Your choice to leave the skin on or not.
3 large beefsteak tomatoes
1 large bunch of fresh basil
4 mozzarella balls
1. Slice the eggplant and brush with a neutral oil like safflower or grapeseed, sprinkle with sea salt.
2. Slice tomatoes 1/4″ thick
3. Remove basil leaves from the stems.
4. Slice mozzarella into 1/4″ slices
5. Turn oven on to 375
6. In a baking dish 9×11 alternate rows of eggplant, tomato, basil, mozzarella until you have used everything up.
Basil and Garlic Infused Oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 big handful of fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1/2 – 3/4 cup of safflower or grapeseed oil
Big pinch of sea salt
1. In a food processor add the garlic, basil, and lemon juice and process for a few seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the bowl. Start in again and add the salt and drizzle in the oil.
2. When the Caprese is done drizzle the oil over the top.
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