If you like to fire up your grill on summer evenings, this would be a wonderful salad course or a meaty tasting vegetarian entree with its creamy cheese and rich balsamic glaze.
Grilled Eggplant and Manchego Cheese Salad with Balsamic-Black Pepper Glaze
Recipe from Bobby Flay
2 cups balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 medium eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices (You will need 12 equal slices)
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 (1/4-inch thick) slices manchego cheese
16 fresh basil leaves, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the honey and coarsely ground black pepper and transfer to a bowl. The glaze can be made 1 day in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.
2. Heat your grill to high.
3. Brush both sides of the eggplant with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant on the grill and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, about 4 minutes. Turn over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Keep the grill on.
4. Transfer 8 slices of the eggplant to a flat surface, top each slice with a slice of cheese and 2 basil leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Stack the eggplant slices to make four 2-layer stacks and top with the remaining 4 eggplant slices.
5. Carefully, return the stacks to the grill and grill for 2 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly melted. Remove the stacks to a large dinner plate, drizzle with the balsamic-black pepper glaze, and garnish with chopped basil.