Ratatouille Salad With Japanese Eggplant

Ratatouille Salad with Japanese Eggplant

Ratatouille Salad with Japanese Eggplant

A twist on the French classic, this versatile ratatouille salad can be served hot or cold. If you have any leftovers or want to use this salad in a new way, try sauteing it for a few minutes in a bit of the vinegar-oil mixture and serve over a dollop of ricotta cheese with a fried egg and crusty bread.

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 large Japanese eggplants
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups diced tomato
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium. Slice eggplant in half, lengthwise. Brush both sides of the eggplant with balsamic vinegar, then with olive oil. Set remaining vinegar and oil aside
  2. Place eggplant cut side down on the grill (4 to 6 inches above medium coals if using charcoal). Cook, turning once, 4-5 minutes on each side.
  3. While the eggplant is cooking, combine tomatoes, bell pepper, garlic, and salt in a large bowl with the reserved vinegar and oil. Set aside.
  4. Remove the eggplant from the grill and cool for a few minutes. Slice each half into bite-sized pieces, then add to the tomato mixture. Mix in the basil and add additional salt (if needed) and black pepper to taste. Top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  5. Serve alone, over warm polenta, or atop fresh lettuce.

Featured Ingredient: Japanese Eggplant
Eggplant’s versatility in the kitchen makes it an excellent ingredient on which to build many delicious dishes. Japanese eggplant is long and slender, with a thin skin that’s easily edible when cooked. With a mild flavor, it’s excellent grilled with spices, roasted with other summer vegetables, or added to hummus (a great calorie-cutting trick). Pureed eggplant can also be added to sauces, creating a delectable creaminess without adding dairy. It’s mild enough to serve a supporting role in a dish, but unique enough to stand on its own. You won’t regret adding this gem to your garden! Here’s what you need to know about growing eggplant.