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2000s Recipes + Menus

Spinach Salad with Grilled Eggplant and Feta

Serves4 (main course) or 8 (first course or side dish)
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:40 min
June 2009
The slightly sweet, almost flowery flavor of marjoram adds a delicate note to this Middle Eastern-inspired salad, though oregano is also fine. To be sure the eggplant is tender, slice into it before taking it off the grill—when properly done, it will be moist all the way through.
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped marjoram or oregano
  • 1 (1 1/4-lb) eggplant, trimmed and cut into 8 (1-inch-thick) rounds
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 1 cup crumbled feta (1/4 lb)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (1 oz), lightly toasted (see Tips)
  • Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal (high heat for gas); see “Grilling Procedure.”
  • Whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, marjoram, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a small bowl.
  • Brush both sides of eggplant slices with some of dressing. Season with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Oil grill rack, then grill eggplant, covered only if using a gas grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes total. Cut into pieces.
  • Toss spinach with enough dressing to coat and season with salt and pepper. Add eggplant, feta, and pine nuts and toss again.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Eggplant can be grilled, in batches if necessary, in a lightly oiled hot grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Eggplant can be grilled 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before using.