Last Taste of Summer Salad

Sigh, it’s that time of the year again. Time to say goodbye to fresh, local produce. Summer food is so flavorful…and so easy! I love fresh vegetables and had to make something to grab one last taste of these great summer favorites: tomatoes, basil and eggplant.

I belong to a CSA that delivers a box of produce once a week close to my house and I pick it up there. Last week there was garlic, shallots, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and basil. Yum. I made a quick salad using these ingredients and it was so flavorful and delicious. Perfect for lunch or a side dish for a larger meal. This salad will make enough for two as a lunch on it’s own or four as a side dish.

Not everyone is a fan of eggplant but in this salad the eggplant isn’t that noticeable and adds a nice texture so give it try. You can always pick it out!

Last Taste of Summer Salad by Jodie Pelinsky

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 medium size peppers, any kind you like
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes, any kind you like
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Peel the eggplant. Cut off the top and bottom, discard ends. Slice from top to bottom into about 4-5 pieces. Place on a paper towel. Sprinkle eggplant with a little salt. Set aside.

Clean peppers and cut into a large size dice. Peel shallots or onions and slice into thin rings. Cut the rings in half. Mince the garlic. Place peppers, shallots, and garlic into a skillet. Drizzle with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the peppers and onions are carmelized. Let cool. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Core and seed tomatoes. Cut tomatoes into a medium size dice. Add the tomatoes to the bowl with the peppers and onions.

Rinse the eggplant and spray with olive oil. Grill over medium heat for a few minutes until tender. Cut into bite size pieces. Add the eggplant to the tomato and pepper mixture in the bowl.

Toast the pine nuts in a skillet or toaster oven until lightly brown. Add to the bowl. Add the balsamic vinegar. Chop the basil and add to bowl. Toss with some more olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Savor while remembering all the fun you had this summer!

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