A Charred Eggplant Salad is a great ALTERNATIVE to a traditional salad and is loaded with flavor. The ingredients are simple and pretty common in most pantries. The flavor is developed through grilling the eggplant and actually charring the flesh. One would think that the charring of the eggplant would create a bitter taste – Not at all. I am not exactly sure why it does not but it must be in the inherent properties of the eggplant itself. The more char the better.
The Charred Eggplant Salad is the second in a series of recipes from the Zahav cookbook my in-laws gave me. As I pointed out, in the Green Bean Salad with Tahini Dressing recipe, this cookbook is a real winner. The flavors are amazing. The recipes are not difficult at all. The only unique thing it requires is some Middle Eastern spices that might not be regular spices in your spice cabinet. Most of these spices can be found at your traditional grocery store. The Spanish Smoked Paprika might need a specialty store or you can buy it online at Penzey’s.
The initial cast of characters for the charring of the eggplant.
The eggplant is cut in half horizontally.
The eggplant is charred on the outdoor grill after being brushed with some olive oil.
The eggplant gets very tender and easily scooped out of its skin with a spoon.
The balance of flavor is created from adding the Spanish Smoke Paprika and the coriander to the skillet with the red bell pepper and the onion. I frequently add flavor by blending spices and olive oil with vegetables. It is a simple trick. One I used yesterday making scrambled eggs.
Beginning the flavor building with some sautéed garlic and the charred eggplant.
Developing more of the flavor by blending the spices. olive oil and vegetables.
The charred eggplant added back to the sautéed vegetables.
The final Charred Eggplant Salad plated.
- 2 large eggplants, halved
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1 Red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- Place the eggplants, cut-side down, on an outdoor grill on medium high heat until the outside flesh is charred and the flesh is tender.
- Let the eggplants cool, then remove the flesh and the charred surface and spoon into a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add back in the eggplant, stirring to break up the eggplant. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat on medium heat.
- Add in the red bell pepper, onion and spices.
- Cook for 4 - 5 minutes until soft.
- Add back in the eggplant mixture.
- Stir in the salt, 3/4 of the parsley and cook for 1 more minute.
- Let cool.
- Sprinkle the rest of the parsley on top as a garnish.
- Serve and enjoy!