Recipe from How to Grill Everything by Mark Bittman
Back in 2010, Alex picked up a book called Food Matters. It was a little paperback by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, all about how the way we eat affects our bodies and the planet. He urged readers towards whole, non-processed foods and loading on the vegetables. It was the first time we’d heard the case stated so simply, and honestly, non-judgmentally. Just try one home-cooked, vegetarian meal per week! he urged. So we did. And gradually, we fell in love with cooking veggie-centric meals together. So we started a food blog to share some of the recipes we were cooking. We called it A Couple Cooks.
So really, if we hadn’t bumped into Mark Bittman, A Couple Cooks would not exist. And we’d be living very different lives.
Fast-forward a few years and as cookbook authors and food photographers, our careers now revolve around food. So it’s with incredible pleasure that we announce the latest book by Mark Bittman, someone who’s had such an influence on our careers. It’s called: How to Grill Everything, and it launches today! Early on in our marriage, Alex and I loved cooking from Bittman’s veggie encyclopedia, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. This new book is a similar concept, but all about grilling, well, everything (including meat).
And Alex and I are all about grilling everything, so the book is a the perfect fit for us. This grilled eggplant salad with yogurt immediately caught Alex’s eye. It’s simple: grilled eggplant and tomatoes with a yogurt mint sauce–but it’s oh so delicious. It’s one of those recipes where the sum of its parts is greater than the whole. Serve it as a side dish alongside burgers or chicken; it’s simple to throw the eggplant and tomatoes onto the already hot grill. We decided to serve the grilled eggplant salad as a vegetarian main dish: we tossed it over whole wheat couscous and greens, with some naan on the side. We also grilled up some additional cherry tomatoes so they could be served alongside. Another idea is to serve the grilled eggplant in a pita, with some crunchy lettuce and a ripe tomato.
However you serve it, this grilled eggplant salad is a must for summer dining (plus rose, of course). Congratulations to Mark Bittman on another fantastic book: you’ve changed our lives in so many ways, and for that we are utterly grateful!
**We’re giving away a copy of How to Grill Everything — head to our A Couple Cooks Instagram!
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This recipe is…
This grilled eggplant salad is vegetarian and gluten-free.Print
This grilled eggplant salad with yogurt is zesty and delicious! Serve it as a side dish alongside burgers and chicken, or as a vegetarian main dish over greens and couscous.
- 1 large eggplant (1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup good-quality olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 12 cherry tomatoes (additional as a side if desired)
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- Black pepper
- To serve (as a vegetarian main):
- Salad greens
- Pita bread
Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium-high direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean. If using wooden skewers, soak for about 30 minutes prior to cooking.
Cut the eggplant into 3/4-inch slices. Brush with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Thread the tomatoes onto skewers. (If desired, you can add additional tomato skewers as a side.)
Put the eggplant on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until the slices develop deep grill marks and are tender, 5 to 8 minutes per side; brush the eggplant with more oil if it starts to look dry. Grill the tomatoes at the same time, turning once, until charred and tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer both to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces.
Put the yogurt, garlic, scallions, mint, and lemon juice in a large bowl and stir to combine. (You can prepare the recipe to this point up to a day before; cover and refrigerate the eggplant and yogurt mixture separately.)
Add the tomatoes and eggplant to the yogurt and stir to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled, and garnish with sumac if you like.
Reprinted with permission from How to Grill Everything by Mark Bittman