This zucchini and eggplant salad with a tangy cilantro vinaigrette would be perfect for a dinner al fresco, paired with grilled fish and a delicious bottle of Pinot Grigio. This is the tastiest summer salad, completely satisfying, and good for you. The vegetables are bursting with flavor from the aromatic herbs in the vinaigrette, as well as the lemon and mustard. A light fruit sorbet and cookies would be a perfect way to end the meal.

Note: When grilling these, especially on an outdoor grill, it is important to brush with a bit of olive oil, and make sure to rotate the sliced vegetables to get nice , even grill marks.  You can use this recipe with other vegetables such as asparagus, onions, or endives, varying grilling time depending on thickness. Also, you can grill the veggies in advance, and dip in the vinaigrette right before serving.

Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4 zucchinis sliced lengthwise (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 4 small eggplants sliced lengthwise (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoon fresh Cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high.
  2. Place the veggies on the grill and brush lightly with olive oil. Rotate vertically then horizontally to create uniform grill marks on both sides.
  3. Grill until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes, depending on thickness.
  4. For the vinaigrette, mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl, and then gradually whisk in the olive oil. Before serving, dip the vegetables slices into the vinaigrette, shaking off excess and place on a large platter to serve.

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