Melanzane e pomodorini, the Italian name for this dish, is the perfect summertime salad. The artful combination of seasonal produce has the vibrant hues and intense flavors of a deep, hot summer. Grilled eggplant provides an earthy, nutty taste, kept in balance by the juicy, tangy cherry tomatoes. Finely diced garlic gives an edginess to the salad, olive oil adds depth and makes it glisten, and flat leaf parsley lends a hint of freshness, like a cool breeze arriving to break the heat.
Cut the cherry tomatoes into small pieces and place in a salad bowl.
Chop the parsley and add it to the tomatoes.
Dice the garlic finely, and add it to the bowl.
Pour olive oil over the tomato mixture, and stir well.
Add salt to taste. Set aside.
Slice the stem off the top of the eggplant and using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, peel the skin off of the eggplant.
Cut the eggplant into slices approximately 1/8 inch thick.
Arrange the eggplant slices onto a grill and cook over high heat, turning once until both sides are golden brown. Watch the eggplant carefully; it will only take a few minutes per side to cook.
In absence of a grill, the eggplant can also be cooked in a skillet on a stove top. If you opt for this method, simply sprinkle the skillet with salt place the eggplant directly onto it.
Add the grilled eggplant to the bowl with tomato mixture and stir well. The eggplant will absorb the olive oil and the juices of the tomatoes, turning a darker color and curling up in the process. Allow the dish to sit for a few minutes, and serve at room temperature.
Allow the dish to sit for a few minutes, and serve at room temperature.