Serves: 6 to 8
A grilled version of the classic French stew, this glistening warm salad will whet appetites dulled by summer heat.
1 medium eggplant, about 1 pound
2 medium onions
1 medium zucchini or 2 small zucchinis, about 1/2 pound total
1 large green or red bell pepper
Olive Oil-Lemon Marinade (recipe follows), as needed
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 pound crumbly goat cheese, optional
Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Salt them and place in a colander for 30 minutes, then rinse and drain.
Peel the onions and cut in half. Steam or microwave until just tender. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise.
Prepare grill. Brush the vegetables lightly with the Olive Oil-Lemon Marinade. Grill the eggplant on both sides until nicely browned and quite tender, about 15 minutes total. Grill the onions and zucchini on both sides until marked with brown, and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes total. Place the bell pepper directly on the grill and turn frequently, allowing all sides to get charred. Remove and place in a paper bag to steam.
When all the vegetables are cool enough to handle, chop into fairly large chunks and combine in a serving bowl. Slip the skin off the pepper, then remove the core and seeds. Cut into small squares.
Stir in the tomato, olives, herbs, olive oil, and vinegar, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, sprinkle the top with crumbled goat cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.