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Meatless Monday: Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Yes, eggplant is tasty in pasta or smothered in cheese and marinara. But during summer, I prefer the purple produce grilled. Sliced, it takes on a beautiful grill marks in a flash.

Ready in just about twenty minutes, Giada’s grilled eggplant and goat cheese salad is a must-try. Tangy goat cheese and balsamic vinegar balance out the smokiness, toasted pine nuts add a sophisticated crunch and fresh herbs lend fragrance. Japanese eggplant works well here, but let us know which variety you prefer.

Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad
3 tablespoons olive oil
7 Japanese eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch wide slices
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup basil, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped mint
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the olive oil over the slices of eggplant and toss to coat. Grill the eggplants until tender and grill marks appear, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Place the eggplants side-by-side on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, goat cheese, basil, and mint. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Cook’s note: Plating the eggplant salad this way allowed the cheese to stay bright white. The salt and pepper showed up on it. The herbs remained green and fluffy. The grill marks on the eggplant were distinct.

More Meatless Eggplant Ideas:

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