Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grilled Eggplant Salad

Mixed Grilled Vegetable Salad
(Eggplant in Italian is Melansane.)

This is so beautiful on the serving platter, and absolutely delicious.
The fastest way to prepare the vegetables is on the barbeque, but failing that option, use a grill pan on the stove, one that will leave "grill" marks on the veg's.

I won't tell you how many of each type of vegetable to use, the choice is yours, depending on what is available, what you like, and how many you're serving. The last time I did this, 2 days ago, I used two med. eggplants, 3 zucchini, 1 lg. red onion (white is fine), and one bag of my frozen roasted red peppers. (Defrost and reserve the juice.) This made a good amount.
Finely dice garlic, 1 to 3 cloves depending on how much you and your family like it.
Tear some fresh basil and leave a few leaves whole for garnish and/or chop some parsley. We love the addition of the basil.

Heat the barbeque or the grill pan, wipe the veg's with a damp cloth.
Brush (or spray, that's what I do, using cooking spray) one side only of sliced eggplant, just enough to cover the surface of the grill. (If you slice it too much in advance it will turn brown). Slice the eggplant vertically, throwing away the two outside slices with the skin, which is tough, but don't peel it otherwise. Grill until it has nice marks, about 5 minutes per side.
The zucchini doesn't need to be peeled, slice it vertically as well.
Grill all the vegetables you're using, placing them on a platter or dish as you go.
Salt and sprinkle the layers with garlic as you go.
When all the vegetables are grilled,add the chopped parsley or torn basil (or both) and drizzle the dish with red wine vinegar and some of the reserved red pepper juice. Add more salt and/or vinegar to taste. Of course some of you will want to drizzle it with good olive oil. Go ahead. Now garnish with whole basil leaves.

This is a beautiful side dish, good with barbequed or roasted meat, fish or chicken.
Sometimes you could scatter bits of feta or goat cheese over it and call it lunch!

This is a keeper!

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