Thursday, February 13, 2014

Heart Salad for Your (Sweet) Heart

I love chocolate as much as the next gal, probably more, but holidays like V-day really bring on the sugar to the point it gets a little gross. The last thing I want to feel is bloated on one of the guaranteed days of nookie, am I right ladies? Here is a romantic salad that will make your heart feel loved.

Grilled Eggplant and Heart Pepper Salad

1 eggplant, sliced in rings
1/3 cup Pomace or other cooking olive oil (not extra virgin)
Kosher salt
2 red peppers, cut into hearts
Salad greens for two
Feta or goat cheese, 3 ounces

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

  • An hour before your meal, cut eggplant into rings. Drizzle olive oil and evenly sprinkle 2-3 pinches of  kosher salt. Toss to evenly coat. The salt will firm up the eggplant, while the oil will have time to soak in.
  • Cut out hearts from red peppers using the natural curves of the ends to be the curves of the heart. I usually get two large hearts per pepper.
  • If using charcoal, start your coals. If using gas, preheat your grill 30 minutes before your meal. When grill is hot, at a medium high heat, grill eggplant rings on both sides until they soften but don't fall apart. Set apart to cool.
  • Grill peppers just enough to caramelize a little, but not so much to char or shrivel the heart shape. (Shriveling being generally not desired on Valentine's Day...)
  • Cut lemons and squeeze fresh, add olive oil, dried herbs and salt and pepper. Dress salad greens and crumble cheese. Top with grilled eggplant and heart-shaped peppers.

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