Stacked Eggplant Salad

Stacked Eggplant Salad

Spring arrived today in a big way with azure skies, crystal clear air, and a warming sun that infected me with spring fever. My Weber grill, covered for the winter, seemed to speak to me this morning and suggest that I free it from its bondage and let it enjoy the day as well. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m an avid griller and when the weather permits I’m cooking outside every chance I get.

I pulled out the recipe for this salad that I’ve had on my to-do list for months. Most vegetables are fair game for the grill and a wide variety of grilled veggies, such as asparagus, broccoli, vidalia onions, and portobello mushrooms, make a regular rotation on our table throughout the grilling season. This particular combination of vegetables may be my most favorite. Adding the contrasting flavors of the fresh herb vinaigrette, the creamy and tart goat cheese dressing, and the sweet balsamic syrup makes this salad so much more than the sum of its parts. It truly becomes something spectacular.

The thing I love about this salad is its versatility. It’s a delicious light lunch, a hearty pre-dinner appetizer, or a fabulous side dish for a grilled steak, pork chop, or chicken breast. You can make the dressings and grill the vegetables ahead of time and build the stacks just before serving. If you love to grill as much as I do, you’ll be making this dish all summer long.

Stacked Eggplant Salad (Slightly modified from Cuisine Magazine)

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Stacked Eggplant Salad (Slightly modified from Cuisine Magazine)

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the goat cheese sauce:

3.5 ounces of goat cheese

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the balsamic syrup:

1 cup balsamic vinegar

For the vegetables:

2 eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch rounds

Salt, for purging eggplant

2 large zucchinis, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces

2 large yellow squash, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces

3 portobello mushroom caps

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips

Salt and pepper

Instructions

For the vinaigrette:

Whisk together vinegar, parsley, basil, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking until well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

For the goat cheese sauce:

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

For the balsamic syrup:

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small sauce pan over high heat. When reduced by half, lower heat to a simmer. Watch the reduction carefully during the last few minutes. If you let it go too long it becomes a sticky mess. Take it off the heat as soon as it starts thickening and has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Cool completely.

For the vegetables:

1. To reduce bitterness, place the eggplant slices on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt on both side and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry with paper towel.

2. Preheat grill to high.

3. Drizzle vegetables with some of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 10 to 15 minutes or until browning and tender.

To assemble:

1. Slice mushrooms into 1/4 inch slices.

2. Stack zucchini, squash, red pepper, yellow pepper and mushroom pieces on an eggplant round on each salad plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Stack another layer of eggplant and vegetables. Top with eggplant round. Drizzle with more vinaigrette.

3. Drizzle goat cheese sauce on each plate and dot with balsamic syrup.

http://www.southernboydishes.com/2014/03/11/stacked-eggplant-salad/

Bill Harris

I grew up in small town Mississippi eating traditional southern fare.A lifelong foodie, I started cooking and experimenting with food at a very young age. I started Southern Boy Dishes as a creative outlet and a way to share my love of food.

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Comments

  1. Now that’s a salad! Grilled is my favorite method for cooking eggplant. It just adds so much flavor to a rather boring vegetable. This “salad” looks yummy and I love the goat cheese dressing. I have lots of uses for that.

  2. What an elegant dish, Bill. I love everything about the recipe!

  3. OMG this is so fantastic Bill. I adore this!

  4. What a great way to serve eggplant! And I’m so ready for vegetable- and salad-heavy meals. We’ve had spring weather too the last few days — even got up to 80! So your timing is impeccable. Good stuff — thanks.

  5. We have been having some gorgeous weather here in Atlanta these past few days! Yup, think it makes up for the next 3 freezin days!

    I love grilled vegetables – love your choice of eggplants, zucchini, yellow squash, portobello caps, and yellow & red bell peppers – and with that delectable vinaigrette and dressing they would be a welcome assault on my tastbuds!

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