Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Grilled Eggplant Salad

Recipe inspiration is all around us — even at the local pharmacy.

The idea for this side dish originates from one of those free diabetes magazines. I was flipping through it while waiting for a script to be filled, way back in 2011. I love eggplant and usually grill it basted in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Mixing it up with mint and lemon juice?? Just the ticket for a summer dinner.

When grilled, the eggplant takes on a creamy texture and the red onions mellow. Together with the mint and lemon juice, those tastes are super refreshing.

My husband and I devour this dish, which I usually serve with grilled steak or pork chops. It's growing on my boys, and I think I've served it to most of my relatives. I've grilled the vegetables on my outdoor grill and on the stovetop using my grill pan. Sometimes I forget the parsley. It doesn't matter – it always tastes so good.

I use a large eggplant and a large or jumbo red onion because I usually burn some pieces in the grilling process and have to toss them out. If you are an expert griller, tell me your secrets!

If there are any leftovers, I like to use them tossed with salad greens and crumbled feta cheese.

Mangia! Mangia!

Grilled Eggplant Salad

1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inches rounds
1 large red onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
Vegetable or olive oil cooking spray or enough oil to coat eggplant and onion rounds
Juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons)
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Preheat grill to medium. Spray or brush both sides of eggplant and onion slices with oil.

Grill eggplant and onion slices on medium for 2 to 3 minutes each side. Remove from grill and let cool on cutting board or in a bowl.

While vegetables cool, combine lemon juice, parsley, mint, olive oil, black pepper and cayenne pepper in medium bowl.

Chop eggplant and onion and add to bowl. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or chill to serve later.

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