Grilled Eggplant Salad

Summer cooking implies a sense of immediacy, a capacity to capture the essence of the fleeting moment.

Elizabeth David

Hot weather is a time to break out the grill and enjoy some…salads. You thought I was going to say grilled meat, didn’t you? Haha! Well, this salad is a great addition to your grilled meats of choice. Plus, some days when it has been really hot all day…I just feel like eating a light meal. This grilled eggplant salad goes into my top 5 favorites salads. I hope you enjoy it too! It’s a little more work than your usual salad, but the work does pay off nicely.

30444_grilled_eggplant_salad

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove

The salad:

  • 1/2 loaf french bread sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • touch of salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pound of eggplant (about 1 medium) cut in quarters
  • handful of fresh basil leaves chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into small pieces

Putting it all together:

  1. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together, set aside.
  2. Head a grill to medium-high heat (about 375F – 400F)
  3. Range bread on a baking sheet. Using 1 teaspoons of olive oil, lightly brush the bread pieces and season with salt and pepper. Do the same for the other side of the bread slices.
  4. Place the bread on the heated grill and keep a large bowl close by. Cook until the bread has grill marks on each side – flip only once. Transfer cooked bread onto a cutting board. Slice a sliver off your garlic clove and dip it into some salt, next rub your garlic clove on one side of your bread slices. Next, discard the rest of the clove and chop bread into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Brush the eggplant with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant until softened and sides are charred. About 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. While the eggplant cooks, skewer the tomatoes and grill for about 4 minutes, until softened.
  7. Remove the eggplant and tomatoes from the grill and toss them into the bowl with the bread. Throw the mozzarella in along with the basil.
  8. Give your dressing a quick whisk and pour it over the salad. Add your Parmesan and toss everything until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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