Appetizers Featured Recipes Italian Meals

Zesty Caprese Salad

This spring, Executive Chef Peter Tartsinis of Blue on Highland gives this simple Italian dish a new twist with creamy, burrata cheese complimented by red pepper pesto, slices of warm, crispy eggplant, tomato coulis and a pinch of micro greens.


  • ½ ball burrata cheese (3oz)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. red pepper pesto
  • 1 tbsp. micro greens
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 oz. tomato coulis


  1. Slice eggplant into five, ½ inch thick pieces and coat in all purpose flour; dip pieces into egg. Wash coat eggplant with bread crumbs made up of ground toasted ciabatta, basil, oregano, kosher salt, ground white pepper and parmesan cheese. Pan fry breaded eggplant until lightly browned & crispy.
  2. For the roasted red pepper pesto, purée one can of roasted red peppers, 3 pinches salt, 1 pinch white pepper, 8 oz. grated parmesan, 2 cups of walnut pieces, and 2 tbsp. minced garlic.
  3. To create the tomato coulis purée 12 oven roasted plum tomatoes, 3 oven roasted, peeled and seeded red peppers, ½ tbsp. minced garlic, 3 pinches salt, 8 dashes of Tabasco, 6 dashes of Worcestershire, 1 oz. red vinegar and a pinch of ground white pepper.  Blend ingredients until smooth.
  4. Place ½ a ball of burrata cheese in the center of serving plate, top with ½  tbsp of red pepper pesto; top pesto with a large pinch of micro greens. Place 5 pieces of fried eggplant equally around plate; add a dollop of tomato coulis in between each piece of eggplant. Serve as an appetizer or entrée.
Appetizers Entree/Dinner Featured Recipes Meals

Eggplant & Goat Cheese Crepes

Oven-Baked Crepes with Cardamom Scented Eggplant and Goat Cheese from Paul O’Connell, chef and owner of Chez Henri on Shepard Street in Cambridge.


  • 5 lbs. eggplant
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup scallion, minced
  • 1 cup goat cheese (room temperature)
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 ea. egg yolks
  • ¼ cup fine herbs
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 6 cup Swiss Chard, chiffonade
  • 6 ea. crepes
  • 4 cups tomato-basil coulis
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cooking instructions:

  1. Place the eggplant on a cookie sheet. Puncture each eggplant a few times with the tip of a small knife.
  2. Place the eggplants in a 350° F oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until the eggplants have collapsed and are completely cooked. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onions. Cook over medium heat, tossing frequently.
  4. When the onions begin to soften, add the cardamom, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes and remove from heat.
  5. Split open the cooked eggplants and scoop out the pulp. Place the pulp along with the cooked onions into a food processor.
  6. Begin pureeing and drizzle in the lemon juice and ½ cup of virgin oil. When the mixture is smooth, add the cilantro and scallion and pulse once or twice. Remove to a stainless bowl.
  7. Place the Goat cheese, ricotta, and egg yolks in the food processor bowl and pulse.
  8. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. When the cheeses and egg are mixed well, remove to a stainless bowl and fold in the fine herbs, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add ¼ cup of virgin oil and place the swiss chard in the pan. Cook until the swiss chard is wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan to a colander to drain and cool.
  10. At one end of the crepe, place some swiss in a cigar shape and 1 oz. of the cheese mixture and 1 oz. of the eggplant mixture. Roll the crepe into a tube shape. Repeat this until all of your crepes are rolled.
  11. Place the tomato coulis in a large ovenproof casserole. Arrange the crepes over the coulis. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes.
  12. Serve with a green salad. This dish serves six.