Eggplant Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

A trip to Italy inspired this delicious, 10-ingredient eggplant salad recipe. With roasted tomatoes & fresh basil, it's a quintessential summer dish.

Best eggplant salad

I keep a food journal when we travel. It’s nothing fancy, just a little book that isn’t my iPhone. There are no pictures or charming doodles… there aren’t really even sentences, just scribbles of ingredients and descriptions of what we ate and where. Some dishes, I’ll try to recreate at home, but not all of them. The chosen few that make it into my kitchen come down to a few criteria: how badly I crave something, the ability to decipher my chicken-scratch handwriting, and the availability of similar ingredients.

This eggplant salad (a take-away lunch I ate one day at Roscioli) easily checked all three boxes, especially since it’s eggplant season! I loved how perfectly these simple ingredients worked together: hearty farro, sautéed eggplant, and roasted tomatoes with lots of basil & olive oil. It had my name written all over it, and I thought you all would like it too.

Eggplant salad recipe

Eggplant Salad Recipe Variations

This eggplant salad recipe came together even more easily than I expected, with no fancy dressing or cheese required! I cooked my eggplant simply in a pan with garlic and chickpeas and tossed it with farro, arugula, basil, and pine nuts.

The bright tangy flavor in this salad comes from roasting the tomatoes until they’re shriveled up and lightly dry and brown around the outside. Their concentrated sweet flavor is what makes this, although you could also chop up sun-dried tomatoes in a pinch.

I love this eggplant salad prepared as written, but if you want to change it up, here are a few suggestions:

  • For extra crunch, roast the chickpeas instead of sautéing them.
  • Top everything with shaved Parmesan or crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add zucchini or summer squash to the pan with the eggplant.
  • Toss in some diced roasted red peppers.
  • Sprinkle some chopped parsley leaves in along with the basil.
  • Substitute quinoa for farro to make this salad gluten-free.

Let me know what variations you try!

Eggplant salad recipe ingredients

Eggplant Salad Serving Suggestions

Serve this salad on its own or as part of a larger summer dinner. The best part about it is that it keeps well. You can meal prep it for lunch and store it in the fridge, or make it ahead for dinner and serve it at room temperature. I even ate my leftovers for breakfast with a fried egg on top – which is not the Italian way, but it was so delicious that I recommend you try it anyway.

If you want ideas for what to serve with eggplant salad, try it as a side with veggie burgers, black bean burgers, or portobello burgers. You could also treat it as the main course alongside gazpachowatermelon gazpacho, or corn on the cob. I highly recommend chocolate zucchini cake for dessert!

Eggplant Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

If you love this eggplant salad recipe…

Try some of my other favorite summer salads like this pasta salad, this broccoli salad, this couscous salad, or this watermelon salad next!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Eggplant Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

 
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This summer eggplant salad is tangy, bright, and easy to make! It keeps well in the fridge, so make it ahead for a picnic or pack it up for lunch.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3-4 small eggplant
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • ¾ cup uncooked farro
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Big handful of arugula
  • Big handful of torn basil
  • Generous splashes of sherry vinegar
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cherry tomatoes on the baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until they’re shriveled up and golden brown around the edges - about 30-35 minutes, depending on the size of your tomatoes.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro and reduce heat to a high simmer. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Chop the eggplant into 1-inch pieces and place on a paper towel with a few pinches of salt. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. As water releases from the eggplant flesh, pat it dry. (This is my shortcut. If you want to properly salt your eggplant this is a good video).
  4. In a large skillet, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat, add the eggplant and cook until it’s tender and golden brown on each side, about 10-12 minutes. Add the chickpeas and garlic halfway through, along with a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  5. Add the roasted tomatoes, cooked eggplant and chickpea mixture, pine nuts, arugula and basil to the large bowl with the farro. Add a generous splash of sherry vinegar and toss. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (and more sherry vinegar if necessary), to taste.
Notes
Make this gluten free by using quinoa instead of the farro.

15 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. This looks like the perfect end-of-summer salad. The ingredient combination is a classic for a reason – delicious!

  2. Allyson from consideringtheradish.wordpress.com
    08.19.2015

    I try to do something similar- I carry around a small notebook with me and whenever I eat something delicious I jot it down. It makes for a memorable souvenir. Thank you for carrying around a travel journal, because this looks exactly like what I want to eat for lunch today.

  3. Aida from saltandwind.com
    08.19.2015

    So wish I had made this for my picnic basket for tonight’s trip to the Hollywood Bowl!

  4. I liked the way you described your food journal…it would have been so easy to tell us that you had an elaborate journal with beautiful sketches, and detailed instructions. The real thing is much more interesting to me and I can totally picture your journal, and you squinting to decipher your writing.

    • jeanine
      08.19.2015

      Ha, thanks, I’ll take a picture next time, it won’t be pretty, I promise 🙂

  5. Sophie from feastwithsophie.com
    08.19.2015

    Yum – totally sounds like my kind of dish!! Love the idea of keeping a food journal when you travel … I eat so many delicious things that I would love to recreate that I should really try to follow your lead!

  6. Adina from whereismyspoon.co
    08.20.2015

    I do that too, taking small notes of good things I ate somewhere and trying to recreate them at home. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… but I just love reading these notes from time to time and remembering nice things (not only the particular food but the whole situation around that). The salad looks amazing, I still haven’t manage to open my farro bag, which I bought a few months ago, this salad might give me the necessary push. 🙂

  7. Cassandra
    08.20.2015

    This looks so perfect right now!

  8. I will definitely try this with fried egg on top, I’m taking your word for it 🙂 I think it will be lovely to try and roast the eggplants as well.

  9. Khadija from kitchenjs.com
    08.24.2015

    I was searching for a new way to enjoy my eggplants,i got tired of how i make them,especially with the weather i just want something light and “salady”,this is definitely it! thanks for this.Also love the pics you take!

  10. Molly from veg-inabox.co.uk
    08.24.2015

    This is to beautiful and fresh a dish for words – thank you for sharing!

  11. Chelsea
    08.23.2016

    Made this with brown rice, sunflower seeds, roasted large tomato slices, zucchini, white beans, garden kale, and dried basil (aka on a budget)…still the same recipe? Anyway, it was delicious. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.