This grilled eggplant side dish is fun, healthy, satisfying, and the perfect partner to any main course at the dinner table. This funky salad will wow your guests or family members as it’s not your typical salad you’re used to seeing at the table.
Eggplant is one of my fav ingredients to use, and it’s totally underrated. Lots of people are often intimidated by the size, colour, and often find themselves asking: “How to cook eggplant?!?!”. Surprisingly, eggplants are super easy to cook. In fact, in this recipe, I just fried it up with some oil. I kept the cooking of the eggplant basic so the other ingredients could put in the work in this recipe like the flavourful miso. However, you can also toss eggplant on the BBQ, you can throw it in recipes, bake it in the oven, the options are endless.
Tips on how to cook eggplant
Eggplants need to get more credit than they do. I do feel that more people would cook with this magical purple ingredient if they just knew some quick and easy tips to make it the best it can be, so here are some things to keep in mind.
First off, pick the right eggplant! A good one should feel heavy for its size, slightly firm to touch, a healthy stem, and shouldn’t be too big or it’ll be bitter!
Trim off the top and bottom of the eggplant, making sure to remove the stems and leaves
You can choose to peel off the skin if you don’t like it, but when cooking it, you can leave it on for more colour, flavour and texture
When baking especially, salt is a key ingredient as it helps absorb some of the liquid, and makes it less spongey, giving it a better texture when it’s finished
Eggplants, of course, have a long list of benefits that keep our bodies healthy and happy. This grilled eggplant salad is loaded with vitamins and minerals that our body loves, it’s easy to digest, helps our brain, heart and bone health, and the list seriously goes on. There are also different varieties too like the Globe, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Italian, and White! The most common you’ll find in your local grocery store in the Globe!
The compliments to the grilled eggplant
For this recipe, I have a few other stand out ingredients other than the grilled eggplant itself. First off, I made this recipe with SunButter Natural Sunflower Butter. The sunflower butter offers a sticky, earthy texture and flavour to the salad recipe. Their seed butter is made from roasted sunflower seeds versus peanuts, making it great for any allergies in the group or family. It’s also filled with 7g of protein per serving, more vitamins and minerals than regular nut butter, and no trans fat. I find the taste of nut or sunflower butter can be incredibly comforting, especially in the fall.
I also used the powerful flavour of miso in this recipe. Miso is a protein-rich paste that is made from fermented soybeans. It’s a staple in Asian cuisine and is a healthy ingredient to add to your cooking, like for this grilled eggplant salad recipe. Miso is a source of copper, manganese, vitamin K, protein and zinc. The fermentation process means that it’s rich in enzymes and enhances the number of beneficial bacteria, aka probiotics. I love adding it to recipes to add that kick of added flavour and love the boldness it adds to this grilled eggplant recipe.
What are some of your fav uses for eggplants? Check out some of mine in the recipes below: