Simple eggplant bruschetta bites are a great party food or tapas night dish with friends, more so, it makes for a nice light summer or fall meal, that is vibrant, delicious, and aromatic. All the essentials to an enticing appetizer!
[This post was first published on June 19, 2015. It has been updated for photos and recipe.]
Song of the day: "Gotta Have You" by Stevie Wonder.
Appetizers for lunch or dinner!
Appetizers are one of our favorite courses to have. There are times Nicoletta and I have dinner or lunch consisting of various appetizer dishes, things like hummus, olives, Caprese salad, assorted Italian cold cuts and cheeses, grilled vegetables, etc. Tonight, the featured dish is a vegetable that I so enjoy preparing, and furthermore, eating! Simple Eggplant Bruschetta Bites, are a scrumptious, oh so flavorful bite that fits nicely in your fingers and a delight to your palate! Let's make some!
An eggplant memory
I remember my Confirmation celebration, we had gone to a local popular Italian restaurant called The Italian Gardens, praised as one of the best!
It was like a scene of the movie the Godfather, the lighting low, echoes of Italian being spoken throughout the restaurant, people hugging, kissing, a few ear twists from good old Italian moms keeping their children in line and grandmas trying to save the grandkids the strife. At the front, the owner of the restaurant dressed in a hand-tailored black pinstripe suit, sitting, watching, making sure everyone is being taken care of.
It was here that I had a wonderful Eggplant Parmigiana. Layers of eggplant breaded and fried, layered in tomato sauce, mozzarella, and of course Parmigiano cheese. There was the start of my lovely friendship to the eggplant!
A little on the lighter side
Today's recipe is a take on all my experiences and some osmosis from Nicoletta's Italian up bringing. They are a whole lot lighter and so beautiful to present. Kind of like a deconstructed eggplant parmigiana with a little fresh twist! So without further a due, come join me in the kitchen and let's make these Simple Eggplant Bruschetta Bites together! Nothing like cooking together, sharing the passion for life, good food, friends, and family!
Ingredients for our Simple Eggplant Bruschetta Bites:
- cherry tomatoes
- fresh basil
- fresh Italian Parsley
- evo oil
- salt and pepper
Making Simple Eggplant Bruschetta Bites
These lovely appetizers are so easy to make. The first thing you want to do is to get the veggies ready. This is what you do:
- Wash and cut the tomatoes in half and even in quarters if they are bigger. This is dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped parsley, and basil.
- The eggplant is washed and patted dry, then cut into rounds at a thickness of just over ⅛ an inch.
- Place the rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the eggplant with the olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Pre-heat the grill to around 450 degrees and place eggplant rounds on grill. Cook for 1 minute then turn over and do the same for the other side. Just enough to get some grill marks on. Place grilled rounds back on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 395 degrees.
- Next, take the bocconcini and tear it into small morsels, and place 3-4 of those on top of the grilled eggplant rounds, depending on the diameter.
- Top with the dressed tomatoes again using 3-4 depending on the size of the eggplant rounds.
- Into the middle rack of the oven for 7-8 minutes.
- Take out of oven and serve!
Beauty, flavor, and ease
These Simple Eggplant Bruschetta Bites are an appetizer that I can have any day of the week. The colors entice you, an aroma that gets your stomach grumbling and a flavor that hosts beautiful plump eggplant with hints of smoke from the grill, luscious rich melted bocconcini that holds the vibrant fresh notes of the dressed tomatoes! Those herbs give enough kick to elevate the flavors to no end.
A true crowd pleaser!
I can guarantee you that if you make these Simple Eggplant Bruschetta Bites and serve them, they will be gone in no time. It happens in our home for sure!
Fork or finger?
I can tell you we like to eat these with our fingers. The dance goes something like this. We pick one Eggplant Bruschetta Bite up, fold it in half, and into our mouths it goes! It is like a flavor texture explosion, absolutely scrumptious and addictive. You will want another and another! Similarly, they work perfectly fine on a plate with fork and knife.
Variations of Simple Eggplant Bruschetta Bites
We decided to try a few different variations to this recipe. To make it easier, we baked the three components together. We just brushed the eggplant rounds with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then topped with the bocconcini and tomatoes. Into a 395 degree F oven for 13- 15 minutes, and they are ready to go.
The difference is there is not that smokiness from the grilling, and tenderness of the eggplant. However, there is a lovely plumpness and freshness from the eggplant making it delectable! You choose which one you like best.
Something different to do with the tomatoes.
You could also confit the tomatoes by tossing the dressed tomatoes onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roasting them a 350° F oven for 30 minutes. What you are going to get is this very caramelized sweetness to the tomatoes that makes them just pop in a comforting way!
We would love to hear from you, because we are curious to see what version you like better. Either way, it has been a pleasure sharing this amazing recipe with you. I am sure it will be a hit at your next gathering, or why not, have an appetizer dinner with your family or friends. It is a great way to share food and conversation. From our kitchen to yours, enjoy!Print
Simple Eggplant Bruschetta Bites are a great party food or tapas night dish with friends, more so, it makes for a nice light summer or fall meal with the family, that is vibrant delicious and aromatic. All the essentials to an enticing appetizer!
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced in circles better than ⅛ of an inch or approximately ½ cm thick
- 35 cherry tomatoes, halved (¼ them if they are larger)
- ¾ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp fresh basil chopped
- 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp evo oil
- 7 bocconcini, hand torn
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Place halved and quartered tomatoes into a bowl. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle in the dried oregano, chopped basil, and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Set aside.
- Take eggplant and cut into rounds at a thickness of better than ⅛ of an inch or approximately ½ cm thickness.
- Place rounds on a parchment lined (11"x16" 28 cmx40cm) baking sheet . Brush with the remaining olive oil on both sides and also season with salt and pepper.
- Heat grill to 450 degrees F and rub grill with some olive oil. Place rounds on hot grill and cook for one minute a side. Just enough to get those lovely grill marks.
- Take off grill and place back on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Pre-heat oven to 395 degrees F.
- Take the bocconcini and tear into small morsels. Place 3-4 morsels on rounds depending on the diameter of the round.
- Top with the dressed tomatoes again using 3-4 depending on the size of the eggplant round.
- Place eggplant bruschetta bites into the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Take out of oven and serve!
Variation for eggplant:
- Pre-heat oven to 395 degrees F.
- If you want a simpler recipe you can just brush the eggplant rounds with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place the bocconcini morsels onto the rounds along with the dressed tomatoes.
- Into the oven it goes for 13-15 minutes. Take out of oven and serve!
Variation for tomatoes:
- If you want to elevate the tomatoes with sweetness and lusciousness, this is how you could do it. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Dress the tomatoes with the olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley and toss. Place those on a parchment lined baking sheet and into the middle rack of the oven they go. Bake for 30 minutes, then take out of oven and let cool. Then follow the steps of assembly for the bruschetta bites. Get oven to 395 degrees, and place on middle rack and bake for 5-7 minutes if you are doing the grilled eggplant version, or 13 minutes f you are doing the raw eggplant variation.
Either way you go, grilled or baked eggplant, baked or confit tomatoes, all these variations will give you flavorful end results with unique simple differences. It all depends on how much time and work you want to put in!
- Category: appetizer
- Method: grilling/ oven
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: eggplant, bruschetta, bocconcini, Italian appetizer, cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley,