Monday, July 30, 2012

Recipe for Grilled Eggplant, Grape Tomato, and Feta Salad with Amazing Basil, Parsley, and Caper Sauce

Grilled Eggplant and Grape Tomato Salad with Feta, Basil, Parsley, and Caper Sauce
Even if you don't make this salad, don't miss the Donna Hay-inspired Basil, Parsley, and Caper Sauce!

For anyone who saw the title of this recipe and said "I don't like eggplant," I need to remind you of my discovery that grilled eggplant is really one of the best things about summer.  I was never an eggplant fan until I started growing the thin Japanese Eggplants in my garden, and cooking them on the grill.  If you've never had grilled eggplant, you've never really had eggplant!  However, if I can't possibly talk you into eggplant, then you still should try the Amazing Basil, Parsley, and Caper sauce that we used as a dressing in this recipe.  The sauce recipe and the inspiration to combine it with grilled eggplant came from Donna Hay's New Food Fast, and this is another one of those summer herb sauces that would be good on nearly anything.

Eggplant is used as a meat substitute in many parts of the world, and I can definitely imagine serving this as a main-dish salad for a Meatless Monday meal that includes hummus with grilled pita bread and some kind of green salad on the side.  (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch.  For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

I used 8 thin Ichiban eggplant, but any kind of Asian eggplant will work.

Cut off both ends of the eggplants, then cut in half lengthwise and brush both sides with olive oil.  Season the cut side with salt and pepper.

Preheat the grill to medium high and lay the eggplants flesh-side-down.  Cook until you see nice grill marks, about 5-7 minutes.

Cook about 5-7 minutes more on the other side, until the eggplant is fairly softened and nicely browned.  (Bad photography; the eggplants are not as yellow as they look in this photo.)

Let the eggplant cool on a cutting board until they are cool enough to cut.

While eggplants cool, make the amazing sauce. Start with fresh basil leaves, fresh parsley, and some sliced garlic.

Give the whole ingredients a good buzz in the food processor, then add the Dijon Mustard, capers, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil, and process until the mixture is chunky.  (This keeps well in the refrigerator for more than a week, so make the full amount and eat it on everything in sight!)

Cut the grape tomatoes in half.  When eggplants are cool enough to handle, cut them into slices about 1 inch thick.

Gently combine the eggplant and tomatoes in a bowl, and stir in enough of the amazing sauce to coat the vegetables.

Stir in the crumbled Feta cheese and serve warm or at room temperature.


Grilled Eggplant, Grape Tomato, and Feta Salad with Amazing Basil, Parsley, and Caper Sauce
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe inspired by a grilled eggplant dish from Donna Hay New Food Fast.)

Ingredients:
8 medium-sized Japanese or Asian Eggplants
olive oil, for brushing eggplants
salt and fresh-ground black pepper for seasoning eggplants
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup crumbled Feta (or more)

Sauce Ingredients:
(This makes much more sauce than you need for the salad, but it's good on any type of grilled meat, grilled vegetables, or sliced tomatoes.  The sauce will keep more than a week in the fridge.)
2/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup parsley leaves (flat or curly)
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 T Dijon mustard
3 T capers
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:
Preheat the grill to medium-high.  (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.)  Wash the eggplants if needed and cut off both ends.  Cut the eggplants lengthwise, brush both sides with olive oil, and season the cut side with salt and pepper

Lay eggplants on the grill cut side down, and cook until you see nice grill marks (about 5-7 minutes.)  Turn eggplants and cook about 5 minutes more on the other side, or until eggplant is softened and nicely browned.  Remove eggplant to a cutting board to cool.

Make the amazing sauce while the eggplants cool.  If needed, wash and spin dry the basil and parsley leaves.  Slice the garlic cloves, then use a food processor fitted with a steel blade to chop the basil, parsley, and garlic.  Add the Dijon, capers, and lemon juice and process until ingredients are well blended; then add the olive oil and process about 30 seconds more.

Cut grape tomatoes in half.  When eggplant is cool enough to handle, cut it into slices about 1 inch thick.  Gently combine the eggplant and tomato halves in a bowl and stir in enough sauce to coat the ingredients (about 1/4 cup).  Stir in the crumbled Feta and serve salad warm or at room temperature.

Even though tomatoes are best when they haven't been refrigerated, this was not bad after it had been the fridge overnight.  It didn't last much longer than that though.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this recipe is approved for all-phases of the South Beach Diet or any other type of  low-glycemic eating plan. 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Meatless Ideas with Eggplant:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Spicy Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Salad with Thai Flavors from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta, and Two Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan from Cookin' Canuck
Grilled Eggplant Salad from Greek Food
Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade from Food Blogga
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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25 comments:

Cookin' Canuck said...

Kalyn, you have a way of elevating summertime veggies to a whole new level. This sounds fantastic!

Joanne said...

It's definitely true that the smoky flavor of grilled eggplant is nothing like its flavor when cooked any other way. I like eggplant however I can get it but this looks especially delicious!

Kalyn Denny said...

Thanks Joanne. I always think people who haven't had grilled eggplant are missing out.

Kalyn Denny said...

Dara and I were cross-commenting! Thanks Dara; I consider that high praise coming from you!

Taste and Tell said...

I really like eggplant, but I've never had it grilled. I think I need to change that because this looks amazing!!

Kalyn Denny said...

Deborah, you must try grilled eggplant; it's amazing!

Eileen said...

Well, I do already love eggplant, but on the grill? It's love x2. :) Thanks for the great idea!

Amish Stories said...

Love eggplant so thnks for the recipe folks. Richard

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

How could this get any better?
Love
Love!

Carrian Cheney said...

Alright Kalyn, I name you, Queen of Summer Veggies. You are seriously the best at using your garden.

Mimi Mj Strategic Communications said...

Eggplant is so wonderful. I sautéed some last night and it was sweet as candy.

Mimi

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Gorgeous eggplant from your garden! I love the Japanese eggplant, with their higher ratio of flesh to seed.

Amber said...

I love grilled eggplant, but I've never tried the Ichiban variety. I must try to find some at my farmers market ASAP!

Kalyn Denny said...

Thanks everyone. Fun to hear from more eggplant fans.

MoMR said...

Hi, Kalyn! Last night, I used your mixture from the Chicken with Sundried Tomato Pesto, Goat Cheese & Basil on grilled mahi mahi. I put it on the fillets as soon as I turned them and let it get hot and slightly melted. Totally DELICIOUS!! JD :-)

Kalyn Denny said...

MomR, love that idea! I get some of my best recipes from improvising like that!

Elizabeth said...

Love the step by step pictures :)

Kalyn Denny said...

Thanks Elizabeth; I always hope they are helpful.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Hi Kalyn,
Yum! We have such similar taste in food. The whole dish sounds great, but I really can't wait to try that sauce. I just know I'm going to love it. Thanks for another winning recipe! :)

Chris Pedersen said...

Looks yummy, Kalyn. Just in time for my Japanese eggplant ripening in my garden.

Jeanette said...

Kalyn - that sauce does sound amazing, I love the flavor combination in this recipe!

Angie's Recipes said...

For sure my type of SALAD! Looks out of this world delicious!

Kalyn Denny said...

Thanks Angie; glad you like it!

Tracy said...

Hi Kalyn! Just found your website. I was given just typical "looking" eggplant just today. I'm unfamiliar with it and have never really cared for it. Can I use regular eggplant for this recipe? It's the typical variety that you'd purchase at a mainline store.

Kalyn Denny said...

Yes, you can use regular globe eggplant for this recipe. Cut in slices to grill. (If it's a big eggplant, you might want to salt it to draw out the liquid, I'd recommend googling to read about that and decide.)

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