There's something hearty and substantial about eggplant. This certainly is a vegetable that will fill you up and satisfy your hunger.
My favorite way to prepare eggplant is to slice it, brush both sides with olive oil, sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper and place them on the grill. I love the lightly charred, soft insides and the slightly crispy outer edge. I could eat the eggplant right off the grill just like that with nothing else added.
For this Grilled Eggplant, Pear and Spinach Salad however, I combined savory flavor of eggplant with the sweetness of pears. The pears were sliced and sautéed in a bit of butter and orange juice.
This might surprise you, but eggplant and pears go remarkably well together!
I placed the slices of eggplant which were softened by the heat of the grill on top of a beautiful bed of fresh baby spinach. I love how the fresh spinach slightly wilts after placing the warm slices of eggplant on top. A simple vinaigrette was sprinkled over the top. Then, the softened pears were scattered over the eggplant and topped with a handful of toasted pine nuts and asiago cheese. To finish, I drizzled a tiny bit of honey over it all.
A wonderful, healthy and hearty salad that comes together in minutes. Easy and flavorful, this Grilled Eggplant, Pear and Spinach Salad is a great addition to your weeknight dinner rotation.
Grilled Eggplant, Pear and Spinach Salad
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/4- thick
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 inch pears, peeled, cored and sliced lengthwise 1/4 thick
- juice of 1 small orange
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- thin shavings of asiago cheese
- Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet on medium high heat. Add the pine nuts. Stir for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from skillet and set aside.
- Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant over medium high heat until lightly browned and tender, about 3 minutes per side.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the pear slices and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the orange juice and orange zest and stir to coat completely.Cook for a minute more. Remove from the heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the parsley and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place the spinach on a platter and arrange the eggplant slices on top of the spinach. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the eggplant and spinach.
- Arrange the pear slices over the eggplant and drizzle with the honey.
- Scatter the pine nuts, cheese and remaining parsley over the top.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.