Grilled eggplant salad with ricotta salata

This grilled eggplant salad is the perfect side-dish for summer. With the nice addition of heirloom tomatoes, ricotta, basil, mint and a touch of crunchiness from the toasted pine nuts. This salad is for sure one of our summer favourites!

Grilled eggplant salad on a serving platter.

We love summer. Here in Italy summer means lots of grilled vegetables. There’s no barbecue gathering without a good dose of grilled eggplant, bell peppers, onions, zucchini and other summer veggies. Is a must and a very mediterranean tradition.

I made this grilled eggplant salad tossing all my favourites. From the fresh basil and mint from my garden, to the ricotta salata (salty ricotta) a friend brought for us from Sicily. Adding the toasted pine nuts was just a last minute idea, of course, this makes the salad very sicilian-style.

Summer grilled eggplant salad close-up.

Even though this grilled eggplant salad is presented as a side dish, the truth is that we enjoyed as a main dish with home made bread. Believe me, you won’t need anything more for a light and fulfilling dinner. Well…maybe a glass or two of prosecco.

The easy and simple ingredients

  • EGGPLANT – I used sicilian eggplant but any similar type is also fine. Grilled them and then let them cool before preparing the recipe.
  • TOMATOES – For this recipe I used a bunch of heirloom cherry tomatoes I had but I have also prepared this salad using normal cherry tomatoes. I prefer cherry over other kind of tomatoes because they’re sweeter.
  • RICOTTA SALATA – If you find ricotta salata at the grocery store, try it and let me know if you like it. Otherwise use Feta or goat cheese or any other fresh cheese you have available.
  • PINE NUTS – Those are the star of this salad, really, it adds a nice crunch touch and also make this salad oh-so-sicilian!
  • OLIVE OIL – Extra virgin olive oil is what I use always for my salads because the flavor is a lot better.
  • BALSAMIC VINEGAR – Love the sweet and sour touch of this vinegar. If you don’t have it, mix a little bit of sugar with the regular vinegar, just to balance a bit the flavors.
  • GARLIC – You can leave it and enjoy it with your salad or just discard it right after mixing the eggplants with the other ingredients.
  • HERBS – Use the mix you prefer or have in hand. I mixed chopped basil, parsley and a few mint leaves for a fresh touch.
  • SALT – Depending on the cheese you’ll use, just keep in mind to not add so much before adding the cheese. You can adjust the taste at the end.
Heriloom tomatoes on a dark, green, wood surface.

How To Make Grilled Eggplant Salad

Slice eggplant into 3/16″ (0,5cm) thick slices. Place them into a pasta colander in layers adding salt in between. Let them purge for at least 2 hours.

Give a good rinse to the eggplant with cold water, then pat them dry with paper towel or a clean kitchen cloth.

Brush the slices with a little bit of olive oil and grill them for both sides until you see dark marks from the grill and the eggplants are tender (about 10 minutes). Let them cool completely.

Place grilled eggplant in a container, add some extravirgen olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and the herbs finely chopped. Mix to coat and let it sit for at least 2 hours or overnight.

In a large serving plate add the eggplant in a layer (discard the garlic slices if you don’t want them in your salad). Place tomatoes, salt to taste and then more herbs.

Generously drizzle more extra virgin olive oil, then pour a bit more or balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle with the ricotta salata and the pine nuts and that’s it! bring this amazing grilled eggplant salad to your summer table!

Grilled aubergine salad on a plate.

More salads for summer:

Grilled eggplant salad

Grilled Eggplant Salad

This grilled eggplant salad is the perfect side-dish for summer. Made with heirloom tomatoes, basil, mint, grilled eggplant slices, ricotta and delicous toasted pine nuts.
PREP 5 minutes
COOK 15 minutes
TOTAL 20 minutes
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 3 large (800 g) sicilian eggplants
  • 1 ½ lb (680 g) heriloom cherry tomatoes (cut in halves)
  • cup (80 g) ricotta salata, crumbled (or other type of fresh cheese)
  • cup (50 g) pine nuts (toasted)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Modena balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and finely sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, basil & mint, ( finely chopped)
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions

  • Cut eggplant into 3/16" (0,5 cm) thick slices. Place them into a pasta colander in layers adding salt in between. Let them purge for at least 2 hours.
  • Give a good rinse to the eggplant with cold water, then pat them dry with paper towel or a clean kitchen cloth.
  • Brush the slices with a little bit of olive oil and grill them for both sides until you see dark marks from the grill and the eggplants are tender (about 10 minutes). Let them cool completely.
  • Place grilled eggplant in a container, add some extravirgen olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and the herbs finely chopped. Mix to coat and let it sit for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • In a large serving plate add the eggplant in a layer (discard the garlic slices if you don’t want them in your salad). Place tomatoes, salt to taste and add more herbs if you want.
  • Generously drizzle more extra virgin olive oil, then pour a bit more or balsamic vinegar.
  • Sprinkle with the ricotta salata and the pine nuts and serve.
Nutrition
Serving: 1grams | Calories: 280kcal
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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Where did you learn this? It’s so tasty! Must be so nice to have all that knowledge from different countries in one kitchen! I think the recipe came out correctly, followed your steps exactly as you said, but the texture of the eggplant is not exactly what I was expecting , but still great flavor and of course, the tomatoes made it so refreshing!

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