My version uses all fresh herbs and a little more garlic and olive oil. My big switch is the cheese. Cooking Light’s version calls for feta, but I have always used ricotta salata. Ricotta salata is a pressed, dried and salted version of the more commonly known ricotta cheese that you buy in a plastic tub. Ricotta salata is lower in fat and calories, but has the saltiness of feta. The texture is totally different – it is lighter and drier -- and compliments a summer salad perfectly. Many cooks are not familiar with it, but I’ve never had problems finding it in Boone groceries.
This is one of those recipes that needs great ingredients – perfectly ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, and best quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If you are grilling the rest of your dinner, cook the eggplant first. It needs a little time to soak up the other flavors in the salad.
Grilled Eggplant, Tomato and Ricotta Salata Salad
- 1 medium eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups tomato, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup ricotta salata, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons capers
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Prepare grill.
- Lightly coat both sides of eggplant slices with cooking spray.
- Place eggplant on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until tender. Cool; cut each eggplant slice into quarters.
- Combine eggplant, tomato, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently.