Eggplant and Pear and Pecorino Salad
There is something so lovely and luscious about grilled eggplant. Combine it with a garlic, chives and parsley vinaigrette, some pears cooked in a smidgen of cognac and butter, pine nuts, honey and pecorino, and you’ve got yourself eggplant ecstasy. Super yum.
I tweaked this recipe from something I found in a recent Food and Wine magazine. Some chef in Italy, Silvana Barazoni, came up with this marvelous concoction. It was originally featured with walnuts, but I didn’t have any of those in my house so I used toasted pine nuts. It worked for us! My husband could not get enough of this tonight. Thankfully, he edited himself in front of my daughter as he noted, “it is so f’n good.”
The original recipe recommended peeling the eggplant. I didn’t do that, but tell me what you think. I might try it next time. I also think that this is an excellent salad that you can make a couple of hours ahead of time and serve at room temperature where the tastes come out the best.
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 large eggplant, cut in ¼ inch slices
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Fresh ground pepper and sea salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 pears (preferably ripe)
- 1 tbsp Cognac
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1½ tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 tbsp honey
- Shavings of pecorino cheese
- Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and pine nuts. Saute until browned, about 4-6 minutes.
- Brush eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side until soft.
- In a large skillet, melt butter. Add pears and sauté until lightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add cognac and toss. Remove from heat.
- Whisk olive oil, garlic, 1 tbsp parsley, ½ tbsp chives, vinegar and salt and pepper.
- Arrange eggplant slices on a platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Top with pear and drizzle with honey.
- Scatter pine nuts and remaining parsley and chives over the top and serve.