Go Greek (and healthy) with this salad.
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch salt
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling
1 large eggplant, sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch rounds
3 medium white onion, diced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzos), drained, rinsed, and patted dry (as dry as you can get them)
salt, to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 110-gram pack goat cheese, sliced into 4 portions
canola oil, for pan-frying
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 heads lettuce, sliced into 1-inch-thick pieces
12-16 cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
Make the vinaigrette: whisk vinegar, oil, and salt together. Set aside until ready to use.
Make the grilled eggplant: Drizzle olive oil over eggplant. Grill over medium-high heat until tender, about 2 minutes on each side. Set aside.
Make the caramelized onions: In a frying pan over very low heat, slowly caramelize the onions in olive oil until they turn light to medium brown. This can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
Make the fried chickpeas: In a frying pan over medium-high heat, fry chickpeas in olive oil until golden and beginning to shed their skins. Drain on paper towels and season with salt to taste. Set aside.
Make the goat cheese medallions: place flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Coat one slice of goat cheese in flour, dip in beaten egg, then coat with breadcrumbs. Repeat with remaining goat cheese slices. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to plate the salad. Once ready to serve, pan-fry medallions over medium heat until coating is golden.
Make the balsamic syrup: Combine vinegar and sugar in a small, non-reactive saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.
Assemble the salad: Toss lettuce and tomatoes in the vinaigrette. Divide among 4 salad plates. Arrange 3 to 4 slices grilled eggplant on top. Divide caramelized onions and chickpeas among the serving plates. Drizzle balsamic syrup over each plate. Top each with a goat cheese medallion and serve immediately.
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