Despite being mostly vegetarian, we barbecue A LOT during the summer. Why wouldn’t you?! Everything tastes wonderful, we get to eat our dinner in the garden, and it prevents the kitchen from turning into a furnace. Lovely.
Kipper LOVES eating outside, and is always keen to barbecue. If there’s aubergine (eggplant) on there – her all-time favourite vegetable – then so much the better.
Other regular features on our barbecue are sliced courgettes, peppers and other vegetables, simply brushed with olive oil before grilling. Delicious, yes, but starting to get a bit samey.
Hence, I decided to try and mix it up a bit, by incorporating the chargrilled aubergines and peppers into a layered salad with baby leaves and diced cucumber and tomatoes. A herby, olivey dressing drizzled down over the grilled vegetables, and made everything super-delicious.
This was really simplicity itself to make, and DH raved about it. Here, have a look…
Looks delicious, doesn’t it?!
It was so good, that even when barbecue season ends (soon!) I’ll continue making this in the kitchen, using my trusty griddle pan instead of the barbie. It will be a wonderful way to extend the summer on into autumn, and maybe even winter. A reminder of sunny summer days as the nights draw in.
You can make this salad as I have, in layers, or you can serve the grilled vegetables separately from the leaves, cucumber and tomatoes, and let your diners assemble it themselves. The black olive dressing is amazing with both elements, and is also good enough to make on its own. Try it over whatever leafy salad you’re having – you won’t be disappointed.
We cleared this whole platter between the three of us, as a side dish. It’s fabulous!
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- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 6-8cm cucumber
- 3 spring onions
- 1 tbsp chopped basil leaves
- 1 aubergine (eggplant)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 200ml olive oil
- 100g bag mixed salad leaves
- 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 0.5-1 tsp black olive tapenade (olive paste)
- Pinch ground black pepper
- Halve the cherry tomatoes and place in a bowl. Dice the cucumber, trim and slice the spring onions, and add both to the tomatoes. Add the basil and toss everything gently together. Set aside.
- Cut the aubergine into 1cm thick slices. Remove the stalks, seeds and membranes from the peppers and cut into 3-4 pieces each. Brush all the vegetable slices liberally with the olive oil.
- Cook the vegetables on a barbecue or hot griddle pan until cooked through and starting to scorch.
- Arrange the salad leaves on a serving platter. Place the grilled vegetables on top of the leaves, then spoon the tomato mixture over the top.
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Serve immediately.