|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.)
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.)
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.
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe inspired by a grilled eggplant dish from Donna Hay New Food Fast.)
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)
(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
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.
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.
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.)
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