I have been away, on summer vacation. And I haven’t been doing much cooking. But we are back now, and I will try to offer the occasional recipe that is perfect for summer.
This grilled eggplant salad is such a recipe, because it’s done on the grill and it takes advantage of the fresh garden vegetables available to us right now. It begins with eggplant, thickly sliced, brushed with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil and garlic, and then grilled until it looks like this. (My husband took the lovely photos; he also did the grilling.)
You could go ahead and eat the eggplant right now, and I’m sure it would be delicious. But it’s even better dressed up as a salad. The eggplant is chopped and combined with fresh tomato, fresh mozzarella and more basil. This is a salad you can’t eat enough of, equally lovely with grilled chicken or on a picnic.
Here’s the recipe.
Grilled Eggplant Salad
Time to make: ~20 minutes plus time to cool
Yields: 4-6 servings
- 1 medium eggplant, thickly sliced
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 5-7 basil leaves, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
- additional basil for garnish, julienned
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, minced basil, garlic, salt and pepper, and whisk well. Brush both sides of each eggplant slice with this mixture. Grill the eggplant for 3-4 minutes per side, until softened and slightly charred. Let the eggplant cool, preferably to room temperature.
Cube the eggplant slices. Combine in a bowl with the tomato and mozzarella. Sprinkle with basil and additional salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve.