Eggplant Caprese Appetizers

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eggplant caprese

Eggplant Caprese Appetizers

Summer Cooking: Variations on Pesto

Pesto is one of my favorite summer recipes. I make several different variations and I use it with fish, roasted vegetables, chicken, on top of turkey burgers and with pasta. Occasionally I sub asparagus for basil and more often than not, I use pistachio nuts instead of pine nuts – it’s a much richer flavor! 

Just put the following ingredients into a Cuisinart for an easy summer pesto sauce:

Pesto Ingredients

  • 2 cups basil OR 1 lb asparagus
  • ½ cup olive oil (more or less depending on how thick you like it)
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano (a little more if you’re using asparagus)
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts OR pistachio nuts
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste 

Other Ingredients

  • 1 large Eggplant
  • 16oz Mozzarella ball
  • 3 large Tomatoes


For a great side dish or appetizer, slice eggplant into discs, salt them, brush them with olive oil and grill each side.  Then, place a dollop of pesto on top and add a slice of fresh tomato and mozzarella and another small dollop of pesto.  Garnish with a basil leaf.

Halibut en papillote is a deliciously fresh summer entree.  Simply take a piece of parchment and place a 6-8 oz piece of halibut on it.   Then, layer the following:  a dollop of pesto, a few spears of asparagus, either cherry tomatoes or sliced or julienned summer squash and zucchini and then another dollop of pesto.  Drizzle just a little white wine to help with steaming.  Then, crimp the parchment tightly so it is fully enclosed and place it in the oven (already preheated to 425º) for about 12 minutes.  Plate it and just open the parchment and enjoy!

By Deanie Barth