Sunday, July 12, 2015

Christine Datian’s Grilled Eggplant and Chopped Salad with Lemon - Mint Dressing

Christine Datian must have been reading my mind. As I was doing my eggplant experiment in Florida, she was creating an eggplant recipe of her own in Nevada. Her recipe for ‘Grilled Eggplant and Chopped Salad with Lemon - Mint Dressing’ recently appeared in The Armenian Mirror-Spectator newspaper. I offered to post it to present another way one can serve eggplant. She was happy for me to do just that.

So fire-up your grill and get ready to entice your family with this delightful summertime recipe!  

Christine Datian’s Grilled Eggplant and Chopped Salad with Lemon - Mint Dressing
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1large eggplant or 2-3 Japanese eggplant, sliced in ½-inch pieces or chunks

6-7 cups romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, radicchio, escarole, endive, kale and/or spinach (or any choice of lettuce or salad greens)

2-3 medium tomatoes, any variety, cut into chunks
1 large ripe avocado, diced or sliced

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red or green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 English cucumber, halved and sliced or diced (or 4 Persian cucumbers, sliced or diced)
 3-4 green onions or spring onions, sliced or chopped

About 1 cup fresh chopped mint, dill, and Italian flat leaf parsley
Sliced black or Kalamata olives

2 to 3 pita bread rounds, cut into pieces
8 ounces feta or blue cheese, crumbled

Garnish options: Chopped dried (or fresh) apricots, pomegranate seeds, and toasted, chopped walnuts and pine nuts
Olive oil, salt and pepper (for eggplant on grill)

 Lemon - Mint Dressing Ingredients:
About 1/3 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 or 2 large lemons and the zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
2 cloves garlic, mashed

1 teaspoon crushed dried mint
1/2 teaspoon each coarse black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and ground
cumin
Pinch of kosher salt (to taste)
Pinch of sugar (optional)

Preparation:

1.    In a medium bowl or container, combine the salad dressing ingredients; check seasonings, cover and chill before serving.

2.    Pre-heat grill for 10-15 minutes and grill eggplant on both sides until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Brush eggplant with a little olive oil, salt and pepper as it grills.  Remove eggplant from the grill and set aside on a tray or plate.

3.    In a large bowl, toss the salad ingredients together, including the pita bread pieces; add some dressing to taste, and toss again. Plate salad on four serving plates; top with eggplant, additional salad dressing, cheese, and the chopped apricots, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and pine nuts as garnish.

Variations: Top this salad with choice of sliced grilled chicken, lamb, pork or steak, if desired.
To see more of Christine’s recipes, go to:
http://search.myrecipes.com/search.html?Ntt=datian or
http://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/
http://www.mirrorspectator.com/category/recipes/

Christine Vartanian Datian is a native of Fresno, California and lives in Las Vegas.  She is a graduate of Fresno High School and California State University, Fresno (CSUF), and holds a Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Mass Communications.  She has been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines for over a decade and is regularly featured in the Armenian Mirror-Spectator Newspaper.




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