- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 8 tablespoons EVOO
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 20), halved
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into eight 3/4-inch-thick rounds
- 4 ciabatta rolls, split
- 20 medium basil leaves
- 12 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, cut into 12 slices
- 4 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk 3 tbsp. EVOO, the kosher salt, sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper. Add the tomatoes and toss; arrange, cut sides up, on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast until softened and browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir the remaining 5 tbsp. EVOO and the garlic. Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet; brush both sides with the garlic oil and season with the remaining 1 tsp. crushed red pepper and salt (reserve remaining garlic oil). Bake until browned and tender but not mushy, 25 to 30 minutes.
Place the buns, cut sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Place 2 slices eggplant on each roll bottom, drizzle with the reserved garlic oil and top with 3 basil leaves; top with the tomato mixture and 3 mozzarella slices per burger. Bake until the mozzarella melts, 8 to 10 minutes. Top each burger with 2 more basil leaves. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar; add the roll tops.