This smoky eggplant salad is divine with the roasted eggplant’s silky texture and smoky flavor paired with sweet raisins and bell peppers. Whether you spread this on toast, eat with fresh pita or simply devour on a bed of greens, this Mediterranean inspired salad will be your new favorite way to eat eggplant.
This is my favorite way to cook eggplant. I simply cut them in half, then score them with a crosshatch pattern. Then I rub the scored side with a paste made from olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt. They got onto a sheet pan and into the oven to roast until soft. Then we let them cool, remove the "meat" from the skin and chop small. This chopped eggplant will resemble more of a mash which is the perfect texture for this smoky eggplant salad.
For sweetness, we add raisins and roasted peppers to this salad. The raisins will plump up a little after absorbing some of the juices which sounds suspect but is actually quite lovely. I use my easy roasted pepper method and simply throw the peppers into the oven on a sheet pan whole.
For some texture and crunch, I add walnuts to this Smoky Eggplant Salad. Walnuts are a very mild flavor which compliments the stronger flavors of mint and squeezed lemon. Parsley is another neutral player in this salad. There is no need to mask all these fresh and pungent flavors with any heavy dressings. We simply use squeezed lemon and olive oil plus salt to bring out the delicious taste of this salad.
Smoky Eggplant Salad
- 2 eggplants
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup walnut pieces
- 1 red bell pepper large
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- ¼ cup mint chopped
- 1 lemon large, juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 425
- Cut eggplants in half lengthwise, score with a crosshatch pattern
- In a small bowl mix 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil with 1 tsp smoked paprika, salt and garlic powder and mix to make a paste. Spread onto the scored side of eggplants and rub to cover.
- Place seasoned eggplants scored side down on a sheet pan plus the bell pepper whole and roast for 30 minutes
- Chop and gather other ingredients while eggplant and pepper are cooling.
- In a large bowl place garlic, raisins, walnuts, parsley, mint, lemon juice, the remaining 1 tsp oil, ½ tsp smoked paprika and mix.
- Remove roasted eggplant flesh from skin and chop in small bite size pieces. They will be very soft. Remove stem and seeds from pepper and chop small.
- Add eggplant and peppers to the large bowl and mix well. Taste for salt and adjust to your preference.