October 17, 2012 | Filed Under Eggplant, Foods I Never Liked Before Until I Started to Cook, Salad, Vegetables, Zucchini
I got this recipe from cooking segment on NY1, a 24-hour news channel that focuses on the news of the five boroughs in the city. The host is Dan Eaton and the name of the segment is called ‘Cooking at Home.’ From time to time, I see a recipe or two that may interest me but for one reason or another, I never get around to trying it. Until now.
When Dan mentioned roasted eggplant and zucchini, my ears immediately perked up. These are two of my favorite vegetables, ever since I started learning how to cook. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve discovered that I love roasted vegetables. So, I stopped to listen and watch Dan prepare his salad. I got more excited that the ingredients were simple — roasted red peppers, chickpeas and fresh mozzarella cheese (Oh, and fresh thyme).
The grocery store didn’t have any fresh thyme, so I used dried thyme, and instead of buying a ball of fresh mozzarella, I bought Perlini mozzarella (pearl-shaped mozzarella balls). That way, I didn’t have to worry about cutting the mozzarella ball in cubes. The Perlini mozzarella were bite-size perfect.
I enjoyed my Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Salad, but since I like a bit of heat in my food I decided to add a little something hot. On one occasion, I added pepperonchini and another time, I added a little Sambal Oelek (ground fresh Chili pepper). That hit the spot for me.
Roasted Eggplant & Zucchini Salad
4 small zucchini
2 small or medium-sized eggplants
A couple large garlic cloves
1 Tbs fresh thyme
1 large lemon
1 cup roasted red peppers
1 8-ounce ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and then cut those sections into 1-inch chunks. Then, cut the eggplant crosswise into 1/2-inch slices and quarter those slices as well.
Mince the garlic cloves, chop the fresh thyme and add them to the chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Toss everything to coat, spread it out onto a couple of baking trays and place the trays into the preheated oven. They are going to take somewhere between 30 and 40 minutes to roast, and they should be stirred around occasionally.
While keeping an eye on that, squeeze the juice of the lemon through a strainer into a large mixing bowl and add about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, the chopped roasted red peppers, a cubed ball of fresh mozzarella cheese and a well-drained can of chickpeas. Toss everything to combine.
Once the eggplant is nice and soft and the zucchini is tender crisp, take it out of the oven and let it cool down to room temperature. Add that to the bowl with the chickpeas, toss everything to coat and serve.