This was a light, refreshing meal. I think I enjoyed it even better because the 3 main ingredients eggplant, tomato, and basil were all purchased earlier at our visit to The Carytown Farmers Market. Check out my previous post, Shop, Eat, Live, … Local. , before reading this.
I am a huge eggplant fan, but historically have only made Eggplant Parmigiana. Now, I have learned new ways to incorporate eggplant into dinner dishes. I must say, I really like this one. I did not fry or bake, but grilled the eggplant instead! I did some research and learned about the importace of “Salting eggplant” prior to grilling so that it is not bitter tasting, but instead more flavorful once on your plate.
To the Recipe…
1 large eggplant, sliced vertically
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, orange and red to brighten your dish, halved
1 handful of fresh basil, off the stem and cut
4 tbs of olive oil, divided
2 tbs of coarse sea salt
1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbles
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1 box of Near East Couscous Toasted Pine Nut, follow package instructions (optional)
- First begin by salting the eggplant. Rinse the eggplant, cut the top, and then slice vertically. Using the coarse sea salt, generously sprinkly over both sides of the eggplant. Place slices in a colander and let sit aside for 30 minutes. You will see all the excess water the salt helps drain. Before using, thoroughly rinse the eggplant and pat it dry.
2. Rinse and halve your cherry tomatoes. Add to bowl. Add 1 tbs of of olive oil. Add cut basil. Toss. Set aside.
3. Brush your eggplant generously with olive olive. Place on grill for about 4 minutes both sides. Eggplant is done when somewhat transparent, softened, and you have perfect grill lines.
4. Plate eggplant. Take your tossed tomatoes and basil and add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add feta cheese. Scoop and top eggplant with this mix. Drizzel with balsamic vinegar. We added couscous as a side to create a more filling dish, but this is optional.
5. Add more fresh basil for garnish. Enjoy!!!!