Eggplants are very tasty and healthy and I love to experiment with it, although I don't think I do it as often as I should. This salad is very picnic friendly, great for the summer season. It can be made in advance and kept in the fridge, it travels well and it tastes so good. Pair it with a good crusty bread for a delicious light meal. A chilled glass of white wine is optional, but strongly suggested :)
Eggplant Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Sun-Dried-Tomatoes Recipe:
serves 4 as a main course or 6 an an appetizer
You will need:
For the salad:
1 medium to large size eggplant
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
8 oz of fresh mozzarella balls
1/4 cup of sun-dried-tomatoes in oil, drained
For the dressing:
1/4 cup of a mix offresh basil leaves and fresh oregano, mixed
2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
up to 1/4 cup of olive oil (you may need less than that)
salt and pepper
Cut the eggplant into bite-size pieces and place in a colander. Sprinkle generously with salt and let it rest for 30 minutes. Pat eggplant pieces dry with a paper towel. Heat the oil over medium heat, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add eggplant, stir it around the pan and cook until done, but firm. Season with fresh pepper. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and let it come to room temperature.
To make the dressing, use a blender,or a food processor. Start by processing the balsamic vinegar, herbs and sugar together. With the motor running, drizzle the oil until the dressing comes together by thickening a bit and having everything well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the dressing with the salad ingredients, and refrigerate it. Serve it cold or at room temperature.