Roasted Japanese Eggplant Salad with Pine Nuts and Capers

Summer salad with roasted eggplant. Crunchy, delicious, and fragrant.


8 people


  • 2 pounds Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick diagonally
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ large red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 20 large basil leaves, stacked and sliced into thin ribbons, about ¼ cup
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • sugar (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375º F. Toss the eggplant in a large bowl with the oil, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Lay the slices in a single layer on baking sheets and roast for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes more. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, slice it into ¼-inch thick diagonal strips.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop in the onions for 20 seconds. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.
Combine the eggplant, capers, pine nuts, basil, and onions in a large bowl. Toss gently with the balsamic vinegar and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a splash of red wine vinegar, if needed. If the salad is tart, add a pinch or two of sugar.