Eggplant is a staple in Mediterranean cooking. We eat it regularly throughout the summer and early fall. It’s so versatile that you can do almost anything with it – grilled, oven-roasted, or fried – it is equally delicious no matter how you cook it. Eggplant can incorporated into main courses and makes a terrific appetizer or side dish as well. Read more
Eggplant Parmesan salad has the elements and flavors of a classic Eggplant Parmesan dish, but without the carb. It’s also much quicker and easier to prepare, and eating the ingredients fresh without the deep frying makes the meal so much healthier. We’re very excited to share this recipe, courtesy of A Couple Cooks. A Couple Cooks found it wasn’t necessary to salt or peel the eggplant for this recipe, but notes that if the skin of the eggplant seems especially tough, you may want to peel it.
1 to 1 1/2 pounds eggplant of any type (to get the small rounds shown above, we used Japanese eggplant)
Cherry tomatoes (about 1 pint)
Spinach or other salad greens
Mozzarella balls (such as those from a grocery olive bar; you also could cut cubes of fresh or deli mozzarella)
Handful fresh basil
Aged balsamic vinegar
Fresh ground pepper
Homemade croutons (optional)
(All quantities listed are estimates. Feel free to adjust to your liking.)
Broil the eggplant: Preheat a broiler to high, with the rack about 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. Cut eggplant into slices. Brush each side with olive oil; place the slices on a baking sheet, and season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Broil for about 10 minutes total, flipping the slices halfway, until the eggplant is soft. Brush with additional oil if the eggplant dries out. (If you use a globe eggplant, cut the large slices into bite-sized pieces after cooking.) You also can grill the eggplant using this method.
Alternative method – sauté the eggplant: Cut the eggplant into bite-sized chunks. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet; add the eggplant and sauté until soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add more olive oil if the eggplant gets too dry. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Prepare the other ingredients: Wash and dry the salad greens. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the mozzarella balls in half (or cube the mozzarella). Chiffonade the basil. Shave the Parmesan.
Plate the salad: On each plate or bowl, pile a large helping of salad greens. Top with cooked eggplant, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, Parmesan shavings, and croutons (if desired). Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (or your favorite vinaigrette), and top with a sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
*Photo courtesy of A Couple Cooks