Sunday, July 17, 2011

Grilled Eggplant Pasta Salad

This was the first time that I tried grilling eggplant, and was amazed at the results.  Break out a ruler when cutting the eggplant so that you get slices of equal size.  This will ensure that they cook evenly.

Serves 2-4

1 eggplant, cut into 1/2" rounds
1/2 lb. cooked elbow macaroni (or other small pasta)
1 lemon, zested
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing eggplant
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
10-15 basil leaves, chopped
2 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes

  1. Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper (and if you happen to have it, some Penzey's Northwoods seasoning.)  Grill the eggplant over medium-high heat for 7 minutes on each side.  Let cool slightly, then chop into 1" pieces.  
  2. While eggplant cooks, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Stream in the olive oil and mix until well combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
  3. Add the cooked pasta, eggplant, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella to the dressing mixture.  Stir to combine and enjoy!