Grilled eggplant salad with toasted bread is one luscious recipe for those sunny weekend afternoons. This is one such delicacy that vegans are really fond of. Grilled eggplant with halloumi cheese, tomatoes and a flavorful mint dressing is perfect for a summer barbeque. It can be served with grilled meat but I’ve kept it strictly vegan and preferred toasted bread.
Few traits of grilled eggplant
Because of its spongy and absorbent nature, it is used in numerous cuisines worldwide. Hence grilling makes eggplant even more tender and delicious. Even if you’re not up for a salad you can have this grilled wonder with mint chutney or any other sauce.
Here the biggest catch is botanically eggplant is a fruit. Surprised! Aren’t you? But for ages it is considered as a vegetable worldwide. By general botanical definition it is a berry.
The preparation for grilled eggplant salad
For the preparation we will begin with slicing the eggplants into thick pieces and then brush them with olive oil. For seasoning we’re only using salt and pepper.
Another key ingredient for the salad is Halloumi cheese. This is a Greek style cheese which is firm in texture and full flavored. It has a consistency of Mozzarella, but the best part is it doesn’t melt that makes it perfect for grilling.
Other vegetables that make for the perfect dressing are tomato, onions, bell peppers, beans and zucchini. We’ll make thin slices of onions, bell peppers and zucchini. The tomatoes and beans are kept as it is. Brush them with oil and season them too.
Quick Tip: For additional dressing use mint chutney or tangy yogurt/sour cream.
For any occasion or a party this recipe is simply perfect as a vegetarian entrée where I stack the eggplant, tomatoes and halloumi into a five inch tall napoleon style dressing and skewering it with a tall spring of rosemary.
Time to fire up the grill
Let’s fire up the grill. We’ll eat it to a medium high heat in case of gas grill or using a grilling pan we make sure the temperature is at 400 degree F max.
- Brush up the grill gates a bit with olive oil and then we’ll place the sliced eggplants. Grill both sides for 3-4 minutes until the grill marks appear.
- Then we’ll wrap it in aluminum foil to allow them to steam and cook through. When done take them out of the grill.
- Also we’ll place the other veggies alongside and allow them to grill. Now during this time we’ll take the bread out, apply a little butter on them and put them on the grill.
- Grill the halloumi cheese for a while till the grill marks appear.
- Make sure not to grill the bread for hardly a minute on both sides.
It’s time for the plating. Arrange the eggplant, halloumi cheese and other veggies on a platter, do a layering. Sprinkle a bit of salt & pepper and serve with the toasted bread.
If you’re going for a mint dressing just drizzle the salad with it and you’re good to go.
Grilled Eggplant salad with Toasted Bread
- 2 Medium sized eggplants
- 3-4 Tomatoes
- 8 oz Halloumi cheese
- 1/3 cup Olive oil for brushing extra virgin
- 1-2 tsp Salt and pepper
Mint Dressing (optional)
- 1/4 cup Mint leaves
- 1/4 cup Italian Parsley
- 1/4 cup Olive oil extra virgin
- Fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water & 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 tbsp Salt & crushed pepper
- Slice eggplant to almost ½ inches thick pieces and brush them with olive oil. Use salt and pepper to season.
- Slice Halloumi cheese into ½ inch pieces and repeat the same as in step 1.
- Slice the tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and zucchini into ½ inch pieces, keep them aside.
- For the dressing, add all the ingredients mentioned for mint dressing in a food processor. Add water as per your requirement and blend it for a runny consistency.
- Now preheat the grill to medium-high, oil the grill grates. Grill the eggplant slices and keep flipping them at regular intervals. Eggplants are cooked when the white portion becomes slightly translucent. Also, the dark grill marks indicate the same.
- Alongside start grilling the halloumi cheese and other sliced veggies. Brush the other veggies with some oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Also, apply some butter on the bread slices and place them on the grill. Grill each side for a minute.
- When done take them off the grill and allow to rest.
- Assemble the eggplant, halloumi cheese, and all the veggies on a platter layering. Drizzle with the mint dressing (if you’ve skipped this part, then don’t) and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve with toasted bread.
- Soft and tender eggplant is a key ingredient in this recipe.
- Mint dressing gives a fabulous look to the salad and makes it tangy.
- Cook the eggplant, cheese, and other veggies over a medium grill.
- In this recipe keep the grill lid closed (while using a gas grill) while flipping the eggplant as it takes a bit of time to cook.
This is a general nutrition chart for one serving. The number of servings is stated above and is my estimate of the normal serving size for this recipe. The above nutritional information is estimated and may vary from the actual results you have. This is home cooking, and there are many variables. To taste ingredients such as salt will be my estimate of the average user.