Monday, October 22, 2007

Tomato, Minas cheese and eggplant salad

Tomato, Minas cheese and eggplant salad

Isn’t it wonderful when a recipe exceeds our expectations?? I love it when that happens. This salad is one of those recipes.
When I saw the photo on the book, I thought it would be good. But it turned out to be really, really good.

The dressing plays an amazing part here – and the garlic is the one to blame. I have a friend who loves to cook with garlic and I’m sure he would like this dressing very much.

The only problem for me is that I find garlic a bit hard to digest – so the dressing and I had long conversations throughout the afternoon. We even saw a movie together. :S
I know that roasting garlic is one way of getting rid of this problem but I’m not sure how much it would change the flavor of the dressing.

I adapted the recipe of a Brazilian book and used queijo Minas frescal (Minas cheese) instead of bocconcini – a cookie cutter came in handy for making round slices of cheese.


This is my post for this Weekend Herb Blogging, this time hosted by Pille, of the beautiful Nami-Nami.

Tomato, Minas cheese and eggplant salad

Tomato, Minas cheese and eggplant salad

2 eggplants
olive oil
150-200g queijo Minas frescal (or bocconcini)
4 tomatoes

3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

Start with the dressing: chop the garlic cloves and place them in a small bowl. Add the oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Wash the eggplants and cut them into 0.5cm slices. Do the same thing with the cheese and the tomatoes.
Heat a grilling pan over medium heat. Brush both sides of each eggplant slice with olive oil and grill (both sides). Set aside.
In a large plate, place the tomato slices, cover with the cheese and finish with the eggplant.
Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

Serves 4


Anh said...

Pat, I think roasting the garlic is a nice idea. I actually like roasted garlic better than keeping it fresh. Do try out to see if u like it....

So do you like the movie? I read the book a while ago but never see the movie. :)

Manggy said...

I've never heard of minas cheese but that sure looks good!

Curt McAdams said...

Great looking salad... the grill marks are good, and I wish I had some for lunch today!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yes I do love it when a recipe turns on you like that. I've had a couple like that lately.
Certainly all these ingredients look perfect together to me. Beautiful eggplants!

Peter M said...

Patricia, I'm all over this dish and bring on the garlic. Try chewing & eating fresh parsley after or add it to the dressing!

html test said...

I love all the ingredients in this dish, and if I can get my hands on some good-looking eggplants, I'm going to try it. But I will probably roast the garlic too, although I do love it however.

Julie said...

Patricia, I just love this type of salad. I often make a Caprese salad which is Tomatoes, Mozzarella fresh basil leaves, garlic and olive oil. I love your use of eggplant and a different type of cheese, not to mention the roasted garlic, I will definitely make this.

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

Oh wow, what a gorgeous salad! I think roasted garlic could be lovely here - I have no problem with raw garlic personally, but I might try roasted anyway, just to switch things up. Now I know what dinner is tonight! Thank you!

Deborah said...

This sounds wonderful! Garlic does not disagree with me, thankfully. I put it in just about everything!!

Thistlemoon said...

Now that is a beautiful sight! It is way past my lunchtime too!!!

Anonymous said...

I love grilled eggplants. This is simply a sublime combination.

Wendy said...

Pretty salad! I like the idea of roasting the garlic for the dressing. Mind you, I love roasted garlic with everything!

Karin W. said...

Raw garlic is hard on me too, Patricia, but our bodies need to work hard at times:)

Anonymous said...

Yum! It's so wonderful when a few simple ingredients add up to a very tasty, satisfying dish. Roasting the garlic would have a different effect, but maybe, one that you would like. It may not help though.

Graeme said...

So simple, but as always, simple is often best.

Great colour on the aubergine.

test it comm said...

Great looking salad!

Unknown said...


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Roasting the garlic would change the flavor a lot -- it's a sweeter taste, one that I find much more pleasing.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Lovely! I like your idea of using a cookie cutter to get perfectly round slices of cheese. You're so resourceful!

Pille said...

A beautiful WHB entry, Patricia, thank you! I love the thin aubergine slices!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Anh, I should try roasting the garlic for this dressing, tks, sweetie!
I really liked the movie and now I'm very curious about the book, 'cause I've read that Stanley Kubrick once said the book was unfilmable.

Manggy, use mozzarella, it works wonderfully too!

Curt, thank you!

Tanna, I really like eggplants and hadn't cooked with them in ages!

Peter, tks for the tip - so useful!

Hilda, let me know if you make it, sweetie.

Julie, I love Caprese salad, too, but have never made it with garlic. I would love to hear your opinion about this dish if you try it!

Amanda, thank you, dear! I'm glad you liked it!

Deb, my husband loves garlic, so I usually cook with it.

Jenn, thank you!

Veron, they were so tender after grilling, I really liked the result.

Wendy, will try that next time!

Karin, good to know I'm in such great company. ;)

Bri, you've said it all - and the vegetables were so good!

Graeme, couldn't agree with you more. And tks!

Kevin, thank you!

Claire, tks for stopping by!

Lydia, I will try it next time.

Lynn, and you are so generous, my dear friend!

Truffle said...

Such lovely flavours Patrica. What a beautiful combination and gorgeous presentation too!

Susan said...

Patricia, that comment on Kubrick is quite funny, especially since his last film was unwatchable.

Your salad looks lovely and flavorful. I love eggplant with a light touch of oil - not always easy to find a recipe like that.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I love it when a recipe exceeds my expectations and I have to say it doesn't happen often enough.

Eggplant, tomatoes, and cheese are always a winning combination in my book.

Nemmie said...

Winning combination indeed! Looks great, so fresh. Will definitely have to give this one a try!

Anonymous said...

I love this recipe. I wonder whereI can find Minas cheese.


Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

That looks delicious- I wish I could eat it right NOW! :)

Toni said...

I'm so glad that garlic doesn't disagree with me! I love it in all forms, and have recently been roasting it quite a bit. Love the eggplant slices added to the tomatoes and cheese!

Read that book years ago when it came out. Haven't seen the movie.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Hi Patricia - great idea using the cookie cutter to make round slices of cheese! I will have to try that!

Janet said...

Everything about that looks amazing (and healthy!)

lululu said...

Such a simple and delicious salad.

Anonymous said...

That's so innovative! It's like a twist on the caprese salad. I love the thin slices of eggplant!

Anonymous said...

I love garlic and I love the way this salad sounds! Mmmm!

Anonymous said...

Patricia--I'm honored to be called out as your garlic-loving friend. I am that indeed. Regarding your garlic sensitivity issues, while you're grilling the eggplant just heat a little of the olive oil you're going to use for the dressing in a small pan and cook the garlic for just a minute or so, then transfer it to the bowl you're using to make the dressing and let it cool before finishing the dressing. This will tame the garlic a bit and probably make it more digestible for you, while still delivering a nice garlicky hit in the dressing.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Truffle, thank you, dear!

Susan, I agree - even though I like him, casting Tom Cruise was a bad, bad decision. The guy is such a lame actor!

Julie, in my book, too, sweetie!

Nemmie, tks for stopping by!

Paz, go ahead and try it with bocconcini or other type of cheese!

Beth, you definitely should!

Toni, I'm so interested in the book now!

T.W., give it a go, my friend!

Janet, it is!

Lu, tks!

Hillary, they were wonderful!

Joey, thank you!

Terry, thank you for that tip - it will be so useful!

Cris said...

Patricia, here I am again looking at your recipe in English now and I was thinking, maybe if you baked garlic in microwave for a minute, it would make it taste better, have you tried that? I have a garlic baker that works wonders...

sunita said...

I wouldn't mind that dressing at all...we are great fans of garlic, roasted or not :)

Belinda said...

I love the sound of this dressing, Patricia, and the grilled eggplant, along with the pretty red tomatoes and cheese looks so appetizing...I can see why it exceeded your looks fantastic!

Bruno said...

Sounds delicious Patricia!

pam said...

Patricia, that looks really lovely and good. I have to agree with you, raw garlic is not my friend. If I am using raw garlic, I usually only use 1 clove.

Pille said...

Thank you for taking part at the WHB, Patricia! I love garlic in any shape, but you may want to blanch or roast the garlic if it doesn't agree with you. It change the flavour a little, but it'd be still garlicky enough:)

Kalyn Denny said...

Sounds like a beautiful salad indeed. I haven't heard of this type of cheese. I agree, roasted garlic would probably make a big difference for you. Just use more if it's not garlicy enough!

Unknown said...

This is very similar to a sandwich filling I make. I cook the tomatoes with garlic, a pinch of sugar, salt and a little olive oil to make a thick sauce and then spread it on fried (or grilled) aubergines. Later on, I spread this mixture in a sandwich bun and add some feta cheese. Yum!
What I really wanted to say is about the garlic actually. I keep a very small jar of olive oil with 2-3 garlic cloves and fresh oregano in it. I use it sparingly for salads, etc. and top it up with more olive oil as needed. Has great flavor and may be the solution to your garlic digestion problems.
Take care.

Anonymous said...

Mmm, mmm, mmm. Sometimes the simplest things can be so delicious. I have made something similar when I've had little more in the kitchen than the ingredients you used for this recipe.

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