Balsamic Grilled Eggplant Salad

Easily served warm or cold, this balsamic grilled eggplant salad is a great side dish to any meal. A perfect blend of marinated eggplant and tangy vinegar. The flavours are intense, and that makes it pair well with other plainer side dishes like rice. It adds a kick to your meals and is balanced out with lovely sweet notes from the pomegranate and honey.

The key to this balsamic grilled eggplant salad is grilling the eggplant to a crisp – without burning it of course. That way it will hold its shape well when drenched in the dressing, and not turn to mush. So slice them thin and grill them well and they will be the perfect texture to soak up the dressing.

grilled slices of eggplant on a sheet

You might be wondering why this is a balsamic grilled eggplant salad, rather than an eggplant salad with balsamic dressing. This recipe came from a Follower’s Pick, and balsamic vinegar and eggplant were two of the ingredients that were voted for. Rather than just make a regular old salad dressing and add balsamic vinegar to it, I wanted the balsamic vinegar to be the star of the dish just as much as the eggplant. That punchy flavour is exactly what I wanted to stand out, but everything should still be about balance! So I switched around the ratios, cut it with some sweetness from the honey, and added a little spiciness from the ginger, and practically marinated the eggplant in it. Having cucumber in there with its mild, watery flavour soaks up the excess and balances out the textures with a crisp crunch, The mint is a freshness that ties it all together,

For the Follower’s Pick, this went alongside crumbed salmon and my favourite sunflower seed cauliflower rice. It would also go wonderfully alongside baked chicken or tofu depending on your dietary preferences. I’m getting ideas just thinking about it! But instead of just thinking, let’s jump right into the recipe.

Print Recipe
Balsamic Grilled Eggplant Salad
balsamic grilled eggplant salad
Course Side Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Main Ingredients
Balsamic Dressing
Course Side Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Main Ingredients
Balsamic Dressing
balsamic grilled eggplant salad
Instructions
  1. 1. Slice the eggplant into thin slices - about 1/2 cm thick. I cut the stem off so I could stand it up and slice down the length of the eggplant. Try and make sure that they are equally cut, as you want them to grill evenly (thinner slices can burn while thicker slices will still be soft).
  2. 2. Marinate the eggplant slices with the zaatar, paprika, salt, and massage with a generous amount of olive oil. The key to them grilling is to make sure every slice is properly and evenly with the oil so there are no dry parts. Once the spices are mixed in, I would take each slice and rub down individually to make sure they're entirely coated.
  3. 3. Line the eggplant slices up on some baking paper and put in the oven at 150C for about 40 minutes.
  4. 4. Once the eggplant is out and crispy, set them aside and allow them to cool completely. Meanwhile, melt the tablespoon of honey in a little bit of hot water from your kettle. This will make it easier to mix in with the rest of the dressing ingredients without getting gloopy.
  5. 5. Place the cooled eggplant in your dish with sliced cucumber, pomegranate, and mint. For the mint, I simply tore it up and sprinkled it over. Then pour your dressing over and mix well. You want to make sure it's all nice and drenched.
  6. 6. You can make this ahead of time from your main dish and refrigerate it, or you can serve immediately at room temperature, and it will taste great both ways!

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