- 2 small eggplants, (about 1 pound total)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 small plum tomato, diced
- 1 small clove garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika**
- 3 cups mixed baby salad greens
- 2 ounces Manchego cheese, cut into thin curls with a vegetable peeler
- Preheat grill to medium.
- Cut stripes in each eggplant’s peel by running a vegetable peeler down the length of it and repeating at about 1-inch intervals. Slice the eggplants into rounds 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Lay them on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
- Blot the eggplant slices with paper towels and lightly coat both sides with olive oil cooking spray. Grill the eggplant, flipping halfway through, until soft and browned on both sides, 9 to 11 minutes total.
- Puree oil, vinegar, tomato, garlic, paprika and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender until well combined.
- Toss salad greens with half the vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Arrange the eggplant slices on 6 salad plates. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Place the salad greens over and between the eggplant slices, then scatter the cheese curls on top of each salad. Serve warm or at room temperature.
**If you can’t find smoked paprika, substitute Hungarian paprika—the grilled eggplant brings some smoke to the salad on its own.
- 2 medium eggplants, (about 1 pound each)
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini, (see Note)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
- Ground sumac, for garnish**
- Preheat grill to high.
- Prick eggplants all over with a fork. Thread garlic cloves onto a skewer. Grill the eggplants, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Grill the garlic, turning once, until charred and tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer the eggplants and garlic to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, peel both. Transfer to a food processor. Add lemon juice, tahini and salt; process until almost smooth. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sumac, if desired.
**If you can’t find ground sumac for the garnish, chopped pistachios are traditional as well.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 7 Japanese eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch wide slices
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup basil, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the olive oil over the slices of eggplant and toss to coat. Grill the eggplants until tender and grill marks appear, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Place the eggplants side-by-side on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, goat cheese, basil, and mint. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Cook’s note: Plating the eggplant salad this way allowed the cheese to stay bright white. The salt and pepper showed up on it. The herbs remained green and fluffy. The grill marks on the eggplant were distinct.