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Grilled Eggplant, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Bocconcini Salad


Do it once and you will see the wisdom of grilling sliced eggplant in batches, allowing them to cool completely, and then freezing them in single layers in large freezer bags. When you have them on hand, you can make this salad in just minutes. The combination of flavors in this vibrant salad is delicious and unusual. Bocconcini (“small mouthfuls”) are small mozzarella balls packed in water or olive oil; they can be found in most supermarkets.


Prepare the Eggplant

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare a grill or heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush the pan with olive oil.
4. Pat the eggplant slices dry and grill until translucent and charred, about three minutes per side.
5. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until soft, about 10 minutes.


At this point, the cooked eggplant can be stored in resealable plastic bags and frozen for up to three months. To use, thaw at room temperature until softened.

To Serve

1. Place the eggplant slices on a serving plate.
2. Scatter the sun-dried tomatoes over, then drizzle the tomato oil on top. Scatter the bocconcini and basil on top. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper before serving.
3. The dish can be made a day in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.