Parsley adds a bright lift of flavor to the smoky grilled eggplant in this Mediterranean-style salad. Pair with California Merlot or Chardonnay.
1 large globe eggplant, cut into 1-inch-thick (2.5cm) rounds
¼ cup plus 3 T (105 ml) extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons (45ml) apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons (30ml) finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons (30ml) minced flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
2 teaspoons (10ml) minced shallots
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) salt
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) freshly ground black pepper
½ pint (8 ounces/225g) cherry, grape, or other small tomatoes, cut in half
16 small fresh mozzarella balls, cut in half
¼ cup (30g) pine nuts
parsley leaves with stem for garnish
1. Preheat the grill to medium high.
2. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices using ¼ cup (60 ml) of the olive oil. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
3. Grill the slices for 6 minutes on each side. Let cool completely. Cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces and place a large bowl.
4. To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, Parmesan, parsley, shallots, and measured salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons (45ml) of olive oil.
5. To serve, add the tomatoes, mozzarella, and pine nuts to the eggplant. Add 3 tablespoons (45ml) of the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
6. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Garnish with parsley. Pass the remaining vinaigrette separately.