Grilled Smoky Eggplant Salad

Grilled Smoky Eggplant Salad

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2007

The mellow grilled eggplant melds perfectly with the smoked paprika and tart sherry vinegar that define the flavor of the dressing in this decidedly Spanish salad. Curls of mild Manchego complete the Spanish theme. If you can't find smoked paprika, substitute Hungarian paprika—the grilled eggplant brings some smoke to the salad on its own.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 2 small eggplants, (about 1 pound total)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 small plum tomato, diced
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika, (see Note)
  • 3 cups mixed baby salad greens
  • 2 ounces Manchego cheese, cut into thin curls with a vegetable peeler (see Note)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat grill to medium.
  2. Cut stripes in each eggplant's peel by running a vegetable peeler down the length of it and repeating at about 1-inch intervals. Slice the eggplants into rounds ⅓ to ½ inch thick. Lay them on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with ½ teaspoon salt. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
  3. Blot the eggplant slices with paper towels and lightly coat both sides with olive oil cooking spray. Grill the eggplant, flipping halfway through, until soft and browned on both sides, 9 to 11 minutes total.
  4. Puree oil, vinegar, tomato, garlic, paprika and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a blender until well combined.
  5. Toss salad greens with half the vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Arrange the eggplant slices on 6 salad plates. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Place the salad greens over and between the eggplant slices, then scatter the cheese curls on top of each salad. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare eggplant and vinaigrette (Steps 1-4), cover and refrigerate separately for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Note: To experience the full flavor of this salad, it's worth seeking out the two signature Spanish ingredients: mild- flavored, smooth sheep-milk Manchego cheese and smoked paprika. If you can't find them, substitute Parmigiano-Reggiano and Hungarian paprika.
  • Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 142 calories; 12 g fat(3 g sat); 3 g fiber; 6 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 50 mcg folate; 7 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,196 IU vitamin A; 8 mg vitamin C; 69 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 280 mg sodium; 287 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (24% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 2 fat

Reviews 2

January 16, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
I would have never thought of creating a salad dressing with the PUNCH of the smoked paprika but this was spectacular!
May 13, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I made this salad for the first time yesterday for my husband (a diabetic) and I and we had it as dinner, instead of an appetizer. Although it didn't make much, it was very filling. We both agree that this will be a regular in our household! I did make a couple of alterations, one of which was a delightful accident. I cooked my eggplant on a grill pan on the stove, but next time I bbq I will definitely try it on the charcoal grill. I could not find sherry vinegar, so I used 3/4 Tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar and 1/4 Tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar. I accidently used spinach instead of the baby greens, but it was delicious. I used Parmigiano Reggiano cheese instead of the Manchego just because I had it on hand and didn't want to spend the additional $$ on Manchego. My one piece of advice to anyone wanting to make this: DON'T skip using the smoked paprika! It makes all the difference.
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