Monday, August 06, 2007

Grilled Eggplant with Basil Tomato Salad

Our basil is out of control this year - which we really don’t mind, but we are always having to find new ways of using it! We were trying to come up with a twist on a Caprese Salad, and we think this did the trick...

We started out by making the salad so that it had at least 30 minutes to chill out in the fridge. Diced 2 medium tomatoes, added 1 16oz can of garbanzo beans, a couple tbsp capers, the juice of 1 lemon, some salt, white pepper, olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar. Then, out to the deck to harvest about 12 BIG basil leaves which I chopped up and added to my salad. Into the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better!

Now on to the base of this dish. We sliced 1 medium eggplant into half inch thick rounds and brushed those rounds with olive oil, and just put some salt on for seasoning. We grilled the eggplant over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side. At the last moment, I placed some sliced fresh mozzarella onto each eggplant round just to get it melting slightly... then off the grill.

A scoop of the tomato salad onto the eggplant and mozz finishes this super simple and yummy sidedish. Personally, I don’t eat the skin of the eggplant, but I keep it on while grilling to hold it together. It’s easy to remove after you have it on your plate - the eggplant "meat" comes right out!

Now we're trying to find ideas for the next basil recipe!

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