Recipe: Roasted Eggplant Salad with Smoked Almonds & Goat Cheese

published Jan 23, 2012
Roasted Eggplant Salad with Smoked Almonds & Goat Cheese
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

I have a confession to make: I have a hard time considering eggplant a summer vegetable. I know that it grows in the sunshine, right in between the tomatoes and the basil, but its silky, melting texture is what I want in wintertime. It’s light yet satisfying, the perfect comfort food for January. Some people guiltily buy avocados in winter; others, pineapple. Me, I buy eggplant. And when I do, I make this salad.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This is not a cold salad (although you could eat it cold; it’s quite good at room temperature). But it’s best warm and straight out of the oven.

The eggplant is tossed with olive oil and a touch of vinegar, smoked paprika and cumin, and roasted until soft and buttery. Then I toss it with chopped smoked, salted almonds, goat cheese, parsley, and a touch of lemon. It’s comforting yet fresh, hearty yet light. Smoky, a little tangy, rich.

This is good all on its own, or as a side dish to a bit of chicken or steak. I especially like it piled up on a piece of whole wheat toast as an open-faced sandwich. It lasts well, too — a bowl of this makes a week of lunches for me.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Roasted Eggplant Salad with Smoked Almonds & Goat Cheese

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    large eggplants (about 2 pounds)

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/3 cup

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1 tablespoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 4

    large garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1 tablespoon

    soy sauce

  • 1 cup

    flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup

    smoked almonds, roughly chopped

  • 2 ounces

    goat cheese, crumbled and divided

  • 1/4 cup

    finely chopped scallions


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and set aside while making the marinade.

  2. Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin. Dab away any extra water that has beaded up on the eggplant and toss with the marinade. Stir in the garlic. Spread the eggplant on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment and slide onto a rack placed in the center of the oven. Roast at 400°F for 40 minutes, or until very tender and slightly browned. (Stir every 15 minutes and check after 30 minutes to make sure it isn't burning.) Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

  3. Whisk together the lemon juice and soy sauce. Return the eggplant to the bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture. Stir in the parsley leaves, smoked almonds, and most of the goat cheese, reserving a little.

  4. Spread the finished salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle the reserved goat cheese crumbles and scallions on top.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

(Images: Faith Durand)