Spanish-Style Smoky Eggplant Salad

April 18, 2013

We love the bold and smoky flavors of this Spanish-style eggplant salad. Grilled eggplant is tossed with a packed with flavor vinaigrette of sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, tomato, olive oil and garlic, then placed on tender baby greens with Machego cheese. This delicious salad is the perfect meal all on its own! Enjoy it with a nice red rioja wine.

Spanish-style Grilled Smoky Eggplant Salad
Courtesy of
Serves 6

2 small eggplants (about 1 pound total)
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
Olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 small tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3 cups baby mixed greens lettuce
2 ounces Manchego cheese, cut in thin curls with a vegetable peeler
Preheat grill to medium.

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 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Lay them on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand for about 5 minutes.

Blot the eggplant slices with paper towels and lightly coat both sides with olive oil spray. Grill the eggplant, flipping halfway through, until soft and caramelized on both sides, 9 to 11 minutes total.

Puree oil, vinegar, tomato, garlic, smoked paprika and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender until well combined.

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.