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September 19, 2018

In the dog days of summer, its hard to beat a salad. Crisp and refreshing (and mercifully free of any cooking implements), summer salads tick all the boxes. But as we close in on labour day weekend and pass into late summer, we’re eager for an alternative to another plate of fresh spring greens.

This grilled eggplant salad is a recipe that hits all the right notes. Simple and nutritious, it makes the most of barbecue season. The grilling keeps the heat out of the kitchen, and adds a beautiful smokey flavour that goes just right with the peppery arugula. Marinating the tomatoes really lets their flavour shine, which is at its best this time of year.

Striking the right balance between hearty and fresh, this is the salad that we’re turning to for the last al fresco meals of the year, as we try to take advantage of all the fantastic summer produce and flavours.

Paired with a southern French Rose or a Spanish rosado, it’s the perfect way to bid adieu to summer.

Simple Grilled Eggplant Salad

For the marinade:

1 clove garlic
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
 

Ingredients:

3 large eggplants
3 tomatoes
1/2 a red onion
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch arugula
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbs fresh lemon juice

Method: 

1. On a cutting board, mince the garlic. Combine it in a bowl with the red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, sugar, and pepper.
2. Chop the tomatoes into one inch pieces and add to the marinade. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for an hour.
3. Preheat the grill to medium.
4. Peel the eggplants and slice them into 1/2” rounds. Brush oil on to one side of the eggplants, and grill them oil-side down for 5-7 minutes. Once they are tender, take them off the grill and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
5. Add the eggplant and arugula to the tomato mixture and toss together.
6. Thinly slice the red onion and use to garnish, along with fresh parsley, cilantro and mint (or other herbs of your choice). Add a splash of lemon juice to brighten the flavour.

 

This salad is fantastic on its own, but can be upped to meal status by adding a piece of grilled protein and a side of wild rice. It’s easy to customize too— grill some red bell peppers or bread cubes along with that eggplant, or put some feta or burrata on top; you’re only limited by your imagination. This versatile simple salad recipe is sure to be one that you will turn to again and again!

 

Whats your go-to summer salad recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

Love eating clean? Check out our article on the best superfoods for building muscle here.


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