This grilled Asian vegetable salad is a hit at all summer barbecues. Made with fresh eggplant, tomatoes, green pepper, and a selection of herbs, it is a great choice for an alternative to your usual salads and side dishes. On the plus side, it’s an easy salad to prepare when you all ready have your grill ready to go, and want to serve your guests something healthy and delicious with their meal.
The salad itself originates from the flavor styling and cuisines of central Asia. Overall, it is smoky and sweet in taste, packs plenty of fiber, and is low in fat. More so, it assists in promoting heart health, and raises the levels of good cholesterol in the body. All your non-meat eating friends will also enjoy this salad, since it is completely suitable for vegetarians. It’s even suitable for those on a diet, and doesn’t contain any ingredients your guests may be commonly allergic to.
What makes this salad stand out from the rest? The motion of grilling or roasting vegetables brings out the vegetables’ natural sweetness. In other words, the dry heat caramelizes the sugars in the vegetables, which leaves you with sweet and soft veggies that are extremely concentrated in flavor. No sugar added!
The salad is best served immediately after preparation, so don’t leave it sitting around too long!
Grilled Asian Vegetable Salad Recipe
- 4 medium eggplants
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and mint mix
- 1 bunch of green onions, diced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Whole leaf romaine lettuce (optional)
- lemon wedges (optional)
1. Begin by cooking the eggplants, tomatoes, and green pepper on a 500 degree heated grill plate or grill. Cook as you would normally prepare food on the grill, turning the vegetables occasionally until they have grill marks. They should be tender and appear blistered in appearance. Once they reach this state, take them off the grill.
2. Allow the eggplants to cool. Then peel off the skin, and chop or mash the flesh according to your preferences. Discard skin.
3. Peel and seed both the tomatoes and green pepper. Tip: you can easily seed the pepper and tomatoes by cutting into large thirds or quarters. Discard the skin and seeds. Cut or dice both the pepper and tomatoes into smaller chunks for eating.
4. Place all prepared vegetables into a large salad bowl, and add in the cilantro and mint mix.
5. Add in the green onions, olive oil, and salt. Mix all contents until well blended.
6. Pour salad onto a bed of romaine lettuce for serving, and serve with lemon wedges.
7. Serve immediately or place in fridge for only a few hours until serving time. Do not let it sit for too long or it may become soggy.
Optional Dressing Recipe:
For a great dressing to go with your salad, try this spicy and sweet creation you will need:
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame seed oil
- 1 tsp zest from orange
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce
- Salt or pepper to adjust to your taste preferences
To prepare, mix all ingredients in a small bowl, and pour over top your salad. Toss contents gently to combine. Season according to your preferences and serve.
This salad is entirely versatile and is easy to adjust to your own flavor preferences. Rather than using cilantro/mint mix for your herbs, you can replace with your personal favorites.
If you love cheese, try adding some crumbled goat or feta cheese to top off your salad; about 3/4 cup to 1 full cup.
Try adding more grilled vegetables to your salad like grilled zucchini or mushrooms. You can even add grilled/roasted garlic, corn, carrots, or broccoli, or grilled asparagus spears. The choices are endless.
To add a crunch to your salad, consider adding a few handfuls of watercress or croutons.
To add some more protein to your salad, you may consider adding about 45g of tofu. All you have to do is cut the tofu into strips and grill as you would with the vegetables. The tofu is ready when it has grill marks. If you are more of a meat-eater, you can add about half a pound of grilled and chopped chicken cutlets to the salad. Grilled salmon is another great option.
Before making this salad, always make sure your grill is properly clean and greased to avoid cross contamination of flavors with other food you cooked on the grill
Enjoy your Grilled Asian Vegetable Salad!