Grilled Eggplant With Romesco, Basil & Feta Cheese

grilled_Eggplant_With_Romesco

Grilled Eggplant With Romesco, Basil, and Feta

Grilled vegetables and summer go hand in hand, especially this grilled eggplant with romesco, basil, and feta recipe.  A perfect summer appetizer or main course, the bold, sweet, and smoky romesco sauce is the star of the show.

 

Take advantage of the sale on red peppers and eggplant – just $1.00 each at Safeway to make this delicious side or entree for dinner this week.   You can also serve the romesco with grilled zucchini and squash.  It’s also perfect as a dip for fresh peppers, pita chips and 

What is Romesco?

Romesco sauce is an unforgettable sauce. It’s bold, flavorful, and full of roasted red pepper and garlic flavors.   The sauce is vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.  

Romesco originated in a city called Tarragona in Catalonia, the northeastern-most region of Spain that touches France. Tarragona is a port city, and the fishermen there made romesco sauce to liven up the day’s catches. I enjoy romesco sauce on roasted and grilled vegetables, seafood, grilled chicken and much more.

Romesco is easy to make!  While it’s traditionally made with roasted tomatoes and peppers, I leave the tomatoes out and use just red bell peppers, onions, and garlic in my romesco recipe. 

It has a fantastic texture from the almonds and a wonderful depth of flavor from the addition of both red wine and balsamic vinegar. 

Ingredients:

Grilled Eggplant

  • 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 oz feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup basil, thinly sliced (chiffonade)

Romesco Sauce

  • 2 red bell peppers, quartered 
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds (sliced, slivered, or the whole natural almonds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

grilled_Eggplant_With_Romesco_Sauce_ingredients

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Place the red bell pepper, garlic cloves and sliced onions in a cast-iron skillet or on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper. 

Roast the veggies for 40 minutes until they are soft and tender and perfectly cooked through. 

Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.  Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and place the eggplant on the grill.  Cook for 5 – 7 minutes on each side until soft and grill marks appear. 

Add the roasted veggies to a food processor along with the almonds, red wine vinegar, remaining olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar.   Puree for 1 minute or so until the mixture is smooth.  If you like a little crunch, you can pulse it until you reach your desired texture. 

When the eggplant and sauce are done, layer the romesco on each eggplant slice, then top with crumbled feta cheese and basil. 

 

What to Serve With Romesco?

Romesco is one of the most versatile sauces or dips that you can make.   Use it as a sauce for grilled veggies, chicken or fish, slather it on a sandwich, or use it as a dip with crunchy veggies or chips.  Because it’s homemade, you can feel good about eating the all-natural, clean, gluten-free, dairy-free dip that tastes amazing with everything!

In fact, if you have ever tried the Hope Cashew and Almond Dips, you’ll notice a similar taste and texture to romesco in the Roasted Red Pepper variety. 

 

Additional Recipes using Eggplant and Red Peppers:

Easy Eggplant Pizza

Roasted Vegetable Lentil Salad With Feta and Arugula

Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad

How to Perfectly Grill Vegetables and 5 Easy Grilled Veggie Recipes

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup

grilled_Eggplant_With_Romesco

Grilled Eggplant With Romesco Sauce

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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: Grilled Eggplant With Romesco, Romesco Sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

Grilled Eggplant

  • 1 large eggplant thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 oz feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup basil thinly sliced (chiffonade)

Romesco Sauce

  • 2 red bell peppers quartered
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds sliced, slivered, or the whole natural almonds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Place the red bell pepper, garlic cloves and sliced onions in a cast-iron skillet or on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  • Roast the veggies for 40 minutes until they are soft and tender and perfectly cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.  Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and place the eggplant on the grill.  Cook for 5 - 7 minutes on each side until soft and grill marks appear.
  • Add the roasted veggies to a food processor along with the almonds, red wine vinegar, remaining olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar.   Puree for 1 minute or so until the mixture is smooth.  If you like a little crunch, you can pulse it until you reach your desired texture.
  • When the eggplant and sauce are done, layer the romesco on each eggplant slice, then top with crumbled feta cheese and basil.

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