Thursday, June 20, 2013

Grilled Eggplant in Three Delicious Salads

Eggplant Caprese Salad



The caprese on the left is a different take on an old favorite; the combination of the sun dried tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar "dressing" is just fabulous with the smoky grilled eggplant. This is from the Better Homes and Gardens website, www.BHG.com





 

The yogurt mint dressing is the perfect compliment to the grilled vegetables below. This is also just wonderful with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar instead of the yogurt sauce.

 
Grilled Eggplant and Vegetables with Yogurt Mint Sauce


Grilled Eggplant and Feta Salad


 

On the right, lemon, oregano, and feta cheese make the eggplant and spinach zing!














To grill eggplant: cut off ends, slice 1/2 inch thick, brush each side lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Place directly on grate over medium heat.  Grill about five minutes per side. Watch carefully that the eggplant turns a nice brown but does not burn.  The grilled eggplant is yummy on its own or with marinara sauce, but is really delicious in these salads!

 

Use the same method as above for grilling vegetables such as yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, and sweet peppers.      

The trick is to cut them 1/2 inch thick and to choose vegetable slices with a large enough diameter to prevent falling through the slits in the grate.



Eggplant Caprese Salad from www.BHG.com

1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
1 medium eggplant
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Scant teaspoon salt                                                                   
Scant 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 to 4 fresh medium sized tomatoes, sliced
1 to 2 large balls (16 oz,) of fresh mozzarella cheese
A few fresh basil leaves for garnishing

Place the dried tomatoes in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them.  Set them aside and let them sit for at least 20 minutes.

Cut the eggplant into half inch slices.  Brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Place the eggplant slices on a grill over medium heat.  Cook about 5 minutes on each side until the eggplant has nice grill marks and is brown but not burnt.

After the 20 minute soak, drain the dried tomatoes, dice them up, and place them in a food processor along with the basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, and vinegar.  Blend until finely chopped.

Slice the mozzarella into slices.  On a platter, alternate and arrange the mozzarella, tomato, and eggplant slices. Spoon the dried tomato mixture on top and garnish with the fresh basil leaves.


Grilled Eggplant and Vegetables

1 medium eggplant
1 zucchini squash
1 yellow squash
1 large red onion                                                    
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper for sprinkling

Cut the eggplant, squashes, and onion into half inch slices.  Core, seed, and cut the peppers in half.
Brush both sides of the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Grill over medium heat, about 5 minutes per side. Cut into smaller pieces and place in a bowl or arrange on a platter.
 
Yogurt Mint Sauce
 
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, put through a press
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
Mix all ingredients together



Grilled Eggplant and Feta Salad

2 medium eggplants
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil for brushing
1 package of spinach leaves
8 ounces of feta cheese
1 pound grilled shrimp (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice                                   
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
pinch salt


Cut the eggplant into half inch slices.  Brush each side of the eggplant rounds with olive oil and grill five minutes on each side over medium heat.  Place the eggplant slices on the spinach along with the feta and shrimp if using.  Whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, and salt.  Drizzle the lemon/oil mixture over the top.