This Eggplant Salad is chock full of hearty veggies and tender eggplant in a delicious, tangy marinade. This family recipe is the perfect side dish for summer picnics or family dinners!
If you have been following me for a bit, you know that some of my recipes come from my grandmother’s church cookbook. My grandmother passed away when I was eleven, and her younger sister, my beloved great aunt, stepped in as a grandmother figure for me in so many ways. When I graduated from college, she gifted this cookbook for me, and discovering my grandmother’s recipes in it was the greatest gift.
This amazing Roasted Eggplant Salad was one of her recipes in the cookbook. I must have inherited my grandmother’s love for eggplant, because I am also obsessed with her Stuffed Eggplant recipe.
In this simple salad, we combine roasted eggplant with fresh veggies and a very simple dressing. The result is a vegan salad that is perfect for bringing to outdoor picnics and BBQs. With no mayo or dairy, this is a great recipe for hot days!
Roasted Eggplant Salad Ingredients
This refreshing and flavorful salad is packed with fresh vegetables and a delicious dressing. In addition to roasted eggplant, the salad features cucumber, red and green peppers, tomatoes, and scallions. The tangy dressing acts as a marinade for the eggplant as well as ties the whole salad together at the end.
How To Make Eggplant Salad
Here is a brief overview of how this roasted eggplant salad recipe comes together. For the full recipe including all measurements, scroll to the recipe at the bottom of the page.
- Roast the eggplant. Be careful not to overcook it. See more on this below.
- Make the dressing. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl.
- Marinate the eggplant. While it is still warm, chop the eggplant into cubes and put them in a sealable container. Pour the dressing over top and refrigerate for two hours.
- Add other ingredients. Toss the eggplant with the diced vegetables.
Picking an Eggplant
When picking an eggplant for this recipe, choose one that is medium-sized and slightly firm. If it is mushy or rock hard, keep looking. It should be smooth and shiny.
How To Roast Eggplant
If you’ve never cooked with eggplant, this is a great recipe to start with. It’s easy to make and you can get a feel for working with this delicious fruit. When picking out an eggplant, find one that is medium-sized, firm, and dark purple in color.
- Peel the eggplant and slice it into one-inch-thick pieces. Lay the pieces on your baking sheet in a single layer. See my recommendation for my favorite baking sheets below.
- Lightly salt the eggplant and let it stand. This will help bring out some of the water in the eggplant. Just like in my Zucchini Lasagna, this is a key step so you don’t get a watery dish at the end.
- Broil. In this roasted eggplant recipe, we are using the broiler setting of your oven. Broil for about five minutes or until golden brown.
- Flip the eggplant and roast for another five minutes. Watch it closely as it can burn quickly on such high heat.
Eggplant Salad Dressing
One of the great things about this dressing recipe is that it does double duty. It first works as the marinade for the roasted eggplant and then it works as the dressing for the rest of the salad. The eggplant works like a sponge soaking it up, letting the perfect flavors permeate the whole salad.
The dressing for this is pretty simple. While it has several ingredients, many of them are already waiting for you in your pantry waiting to be used.
- Red Wine Vinegar: This brings the majority of the flavor to the recipe. I don’t recommend swapping it for a different kind of vinegar.
- Olive Oil: A basic in dressings, you want to reach for the extra virgin olive oil when you are making salad dressing. It has the best flavor and the lightest taste.
- Lemon Juice: When you add lemon juice to a dressing recipe, I urge you to go with fresh. It brings a much better flavor than bottled.
- Red Wine: I’m kind of obsessed with the fact that grandma tossed in a little dollop of wine. If you don’t drink, you can definitely skip this, just taste the dressing at the end to ensure that it doesn’t need tweaking.
- Garlic: Adding the garlic to the dressing is pretty genius here. Since this dressing is also a marinade, it really brings home that flavor as opposed to just adding it with the rest of the veggies.
- Honey: We are adding three acids to this recipe (vinegar, wine, and lemon juice), so a dash of honey works really well to balance them without making it sweet.
- Basil, Oregano, and Thyme: These three work together in harmony to add great flavor to the dish.
- Salt & Pepper
Storing and Making Ahead
This salad can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored for up to four days in the refrigerator after making it. Always use your best discretion with leftovers.
More Salad Recipes
As we head into the summer months and you head out to picnics, I have a few more great summer salads you are bound to love.
- Easy Orzo Salad: This is a pasta salad with Mediterranean flavors, and it is the perfect dish to pass. I could eat it for days on end and not tire of it.
- Chopped Salad: When all else fails, this easy chopped salad is the perfect fall back with the most amazing dressing.
- Asian Cucumber Salad: This one is so simple to make, but it is a great side dish for so many recipes.
If you make this eggplant salad or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
- 1 medium eggplant peeled, cut into one inch thick slices
- kosher salt
- 2 scallions sliced thin
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 2 medium tomatoes diced
- 1 cucumber diced
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Peel the eggplant and slice it into one-inch-thick pieces. Lightly salt the eggplant and let it stand 10 minutes.1 medium eggplant
- Put the eggplant under your broiler. Broil for 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Be careful not to overcook it.
- While the eggplant is cooking, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. This will also serve as the marinade for the eggplant.1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons red wine, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- While the eggplant is still warm, chop it into cubes and put them in a sealable container. Pour the marinade over the eggplant, cover it, and refrigerate for two hours.2 scallions, 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 2 medium tomatoes, 1 cucumber
- Toss the eggplant with the diced vegetables and serve. This salad can be made up to 24 hours in advance and will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days after making it.