Grilled Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Tomatoes is a flavorful Mediterranean-inspired recipe. It's vegan, gluten-free, and healthy.
I've always enjoyed eggplant dishes in restaurants, but cooking the purple vegetable at home has never been my strong suit. The most successful way I've prepared it is by roasting it in the oven like when making Vegan Eggplant Pasta.
But now I realize I've been missing out on the easiest and, in my opinion, tastiest way to prepare eggplant. I'm talking about grilling it!
Eggplants, or aubergine, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They are members of the nightshade family related to tomatoes and potatoes.
Did you know there are at least ten different varieties of this vegetable? Check out this guide to learn more about them.
I personally love the skinnier Japanese eggplant. They have fewer seeds than the larger Italian version, and I enjoy the texture when cooked. However, for this salad recipe, feel free to use whichever variety you prefer.
Eggplant is high in dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and copper. It's also a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate and vitamin K.
Eggplants cook quickly on the grill. I like to slice them lengthwise, brush each side with a little oil and dusting of salt and pepper, and grill them on each side for about five minutes.
But don't worry if you don't have an outside grill. There are several other options for cooking your eggplant. You can prepare them on a grill pan on your stove top.
Making Grilled Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Tomatoes is really easy.
Once you've grilled the eggplants, let them rest until they are cool enough to handle. Then slice them into bite-size pieces.
The rest of the salad is very simple:
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Tomatoes (I like to use cherry tomatoes)
- White wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh basil leaves
- Pine nuts
These traditional Mediterranean flavors are incredible with eggplant.
Enjoy Grilled Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Tomatoes on its own or with other dishes. I love it for lunch. If you want, you can eat it with some grilled crusty bread.
And for dinner it's wonderful with simple dishes such as Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil. Or since the grill will already be hot, you could make some portobello mushroom steaks.
Not only is Grilled Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Tomatoes delicious, it's also beautiful. I love colorful dishes since, as they say, we eat with our eyes first.
And eating plant-based dishes full of fruit and vegetables, legumes, and nuts makes our bodies happy on the inside, too!
Grilled Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
- 2 Japanese eggplants
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 can chickpeas , (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained (1 ½ cups)
- 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
- Slice the eggplants lengthwise. Brush each side with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Grill the eggplant over high heat for approximately 5 minutes on each side.
- Transfer the eggplant to a plate and let it rest until cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, add the chickpeas, tomatoes, white wine vinegar, and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Slice the grilled eggplant into bite-size pieces and add them to the salad.
- Add the torn basil leaves and pine nuts.
- Gently toss everything together. Taste to adjust for salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
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