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Home > Recipes > Smoked Eggplant and Tomato Herb Salad
Author:

Kevin Curry

Smoked Eggplant and Tomato Herb Salad

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For this amazing cold eggplant and tomato salad, let’s combine the smokiness of grilled eggplant with the sweetness of fresh cherry tomatoes and spices. While I’d love to take credit for this delicious dish, I’d be remiss if I did not acknowledge its culinary inspirations: Middle Eastern (Mediterranean) Baba Ganoush and Spanish (Catalan) Escalivada.

Inspiration from Middle Eastern & Mediterranean cuisine

Baba ganoush, a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, is likely a familiar name to those who have explored this culinary tradition. This flavorful dip has a rich history, dating back to the Ottoman Empire. So yeah, it’s impossible to claim originality for this ingredient combination!

It is traditionally made from roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. It often includes cumin and smoked paprika to boost flavor. 

The creamy texture of the smoked and scorched eggplant combined with the tanginess of the lemon juice and the earthiness of the spices creates a delicious and savory salad, dip, or spread!

Inspiration from Spanish cuisine

This dish may be novel for some if you are a fanatic of Spanish cuisine. Escalivada is a traditional Catalan dish made with roasted eggplant and bell peppers and often served with tomatoes, onions, and olive oil. 
Vegetables, especially eggplant, are typically roasted until soft and charred, then seasoned with olive oil, salt, and occasionally herbs like parsley or cilantro.

The combination of smoky flavors from the roasted vegetables and the sweetness of the tomatoes makes for a hearty and flavorful dish.

 

So what’d you make, Kev?

I combined the creaminess of Baba Ganoush with the chunkiness of Escalivada to make this brilliant and flavorful eggplant and tomato with herbs salad.

How to Make Smoked Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Fire up the grill or your gas stove. Alternatively, set your oven to broil.

Wash the eggplants thoroughly.  If you use a grill, I like adding wood to get extra flavor.

Pro-tip: How to Peel Roasted Eggplants

Peeling eggplants after they have been roasted can be difficult or time-consuming. Here’s what I do, and it works every time:  Take a knife and make about 3 to 4 shallow cuts—skin deep only—along the sides of the eggplant. After they roast, you can easily peel those sections off to reveal the flesh.

 

Place the eggplants on the grill grates or over open flames on the stove.  If you are using the oven, place the eggplants on a baking tray on the highest rack directly under the heat source.

Let the eggplants roast over the flames and turn every 5 minutes or so. Do not be alarmed if the outside gets super dark and flaky. Just make sure it is not turning to ash—if so, flip that side of the eggplant away from the flames. Roast for about 15 minutes OR whenever the eggplant has been roasted on all sides and is soft when you gently squeeze it.

Once the eggplants have roasted, immediately place them in a bowl or container with an airtight lid to trap the heat. This will create steam that will further soften the eggplants, making them easier to peel.

Let them rest in the bowl (at room temperature) for at least 15 minutes.

Prep the veggies.

Peel the eggplant—hold the stem, peel back the skin, and spoon the flesh into the bowl. Alternatively, if you are using regular-sized eggplants, slice the eggplant in half, then spoon out the contents into a bowl.

You can use a potato masher to mash the eggplant in the bowl.

Pro-tip: After mashing, I like to scoop out about half of the mashed eggplant and use an immersion blender to blend the remaining in the bowl.

Then, I add the mashed eggplant back into the bowl and mix. This creates a smooth yet chunky texture.

Add olive oil and a pinch of mineral salt.  Fold using a spatula.  Set the eggplant mash in the fridge to chill or at least come to room temperature.  Do not add the veggies to the hot mashed eggplant.

Add the veggies, spices, and the final drop of olive oil, and gently mix—the salad should be textured and chunky. Season to taste with lemon, sea salt, and pepper.

Enjoy it by itself along with your meal prep or over rice, toasted (sourdough) bread, or pita. Honestly, do you. It’s good with everything!

Garnish with capers and enjoy!

Enhance the Flavor of Eggplant and Tomato Salad

So, do you like it enough to add more flavor? Heck yeah!  Incorporating or swapping with these ingredients will elevate the flavor profile, adding complexity and depth while maintaining a healthy balance of flavors:

  1. Roasted garlic: can add depth and an “umami” kick to the salad.
  2. Feta Cheese: offers a creamy texture AND a salty tang that balances the olive oil’s richness and the cherry tomatoes’ sweetness.
  3. Toasted Pine Nuts: If it’s a payday – and if you’ve ever purchased pine nuts, you understand why I say that – pine nuts add crunch and sweet, nutty flavor, which contrasts the softness of the eggplant and tomatoes.
  4. Balsamic Vinegar: A drizzle can intensify the sweet flavors of the tomatoes and add some acidity.
Show full recipe

Smoked Eggplant and Tomato Herb Salad

Ingredients

3 Servings
Serving Size:297g
* Optional Substitution Note
  • 2 lb raw eggplant
    • 13 - 15 mini eggplants
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups (heirloom) cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (white) cracked pepper
    • black pepper

Spices
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • paprika, 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

Garnish
  • 1 tablespoons capers

Tools

Click tools for recommendations

Steps

Step 1

Fire up the grill or your gas stove. Alternatively, set your oven to broil.

Wash the eggplants thoroughly.  If you use a grill, I like adding wood to get extra flavor.

Step 2

Take a knife and make about 3 to 4 shallow cuts—skin deep only—along the sides of the eggplant. After they roast, you can easily peel those sections off to reveal the flesh.

Step 3

Place the eggplants on the grill grates or over open flames on the stove.  If you are using the oven, place the eggplants on a baking tray on the highest rack directly under the heat source.

Let the eggplants roast over the flames and turn every 5 minutes or so. Do not be alarmed if the outside gets super dark and flaky. Just make sure it is not turning to ash—if so, flip that side of the eggplant away from the flames. Roast for about 15 minutes OR whenever the eggplant has been roasted on all sides and is soft when you gently squeeze it.

Step 4

Once the eggplants have roasted, immediately place them in a bowl or container with an airtight lid to trap the heat. This will create steam that will further soften the eggplants, making them easier to peel.

Let them rest in the bowl (at room temperature) for at least 15 minutes.

Step 5

Prep the veggies.

Step 6

Peel the eggplant—hold the stem, peel back the skin, and spoon the flesh into the bowl. Alternatively, if you are using regular-sized eggplants, slice the eggplant in half, then spoon out the contents into a bowl.

You can use a potato masher to mash the eggplant in the bowl.

Pro-tip: After mashing, I like to scoop out about half of the mashed eggplant and use an immersion blender to blend the remaining in the bowl.

Then, I add the mashed eggplant back into the bowl and mix. This creates a smooth yet chunky texture.

Step 7

Add olive oil and a pinch of mineral salt.  Fold using a spatula.  Set the eggplant mash in the fridge to chill or at least come to room temperature.  Do not add the veggies to the hot mashed eggplant.

Step 8

Add the veggies, spices, and the final drop of olive oil, and gently mix—the salad should be textured and chunky. Season to taste with lemon, sea salt, and pepper.

Enjoy it by itself along with your meal prep or over rice, toasted (sourdough) bread, or pita. Honestly, do you. It’s good with everything!

Step 9

Garnish with capers and enjoy!

Smoked Eggplant and Tomato Herb Salad

Kevin Curry


Prep 20min
Cook 20min
Total 40min

Category Vegan
# of servings3
Calories 160

  • 2 lb raw eggplant
    • 13 - 15 mini eggplants
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups (heirloom) cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (white) cracked pepper
    • black pepper

Spices
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • paprika, 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

Garnish
  • 1 tablespoons capers

  1. Fire up the grill or your gas stove. Alternatively, set your oven to broil.

    Wash the eggplants thoroughly.  If you use a grill, I like adding wood to get extra flavor.

  2. Take a knife and make about 3 to 4 shallow cuts—skin deep only—along the sides of the eggplant. After they roast, you can easily peel those sections off to reveal the flesh.

  3. Place the eggplants on the grill grates or over open flames on the stove.  If you are using the oven, place the eggplants on a baking tray on the highest rack directly under the heat source.

    Let the eggplants roast over the flames and turn every 5 minutes or so. Do not be alarmed if the outside gets super dark and flaky. Just make sure it is not turning to ash—if so, flip that side of the eggplant away from the flames. Roast for about 15 minutes OR whenever the eggplant has been roasted on all sides and is soft when you gently squeeze it.

  4. Once the eggplants have roasted, immediately place them in a bowl or container with an airtight lid to trap the heat. This will create steam that will further soften the eggplants, making them easier to peel.

    Let them rest in the bowl (at room temperature) for at least 15 minutes.

  5. Prep the veggies.

  6. Peel the eggplant—hold the stem, peel back the skin, and spoon the flesh into the bowl. Alternatively, if you are using regular-sized eggplants, slice the eggplant in half, then spoon out the contents into a bowl.

    You can use a potato masher to mash the eggplant in the bowl.

    Pro-tip: After mashing, I like to scoop out about half of the mashed eggplant and use an immersion blender to blend the remaining in the bowl.

    Then, I add the mashed eggplant back into the bowl and mix. This creates a smooth yet chunky texture.

  7. Add olive oil and a pinch of mineral salt.  Fold using a spatula.  Set the eggplant mash in the fridge to chill or at least come to room temperature.  Do not add the veggies to the hot mashed eggplant.

  8. Add the veggies, spices, and the final drop of olive oil, and gently mix—the salad should be textured and chunky. Season to taste with lemon, sea salt, and pepper.

    Enjoy it by itself along with your meal prep or over rice, toasted (sourdough) bread, or pita. Honestly, do you. It’s good with everything!

  9. Garnish with capers and enjoy!

Nutrition per serving

Calories160cal
Protein3g
Fats10g
Carbs19g
Sodium660mg
Fiber7g
Sugar9g
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Details

Prep 20min
Cook 20min
Total 40min
# of servings3
Serving Size:297g

Nutrition per serving

Calories160cal
Protein3g
Fats10g
Carbs19g
Sodium660mg
Fiber7g
Sugar9g
About Kevin - author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hey, I'm Kevin

My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle.

By experimenting in the kitchen and sharing my meals on Tumblr, I learned healthy eating is not boring! By making a few adjustments to my favorite foods, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my wellness goals while satisfying my desire for BANGIN food! 😅 Now I try to help people around the world realize that same level of freedom in eating regardless of budget. Welcome, let's #DemocratizeWellness together!