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Food for Thought: Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Tasty recipe, featuring grilled eggplant and other colorful veggies, provides antioxidants and fiber


Veggie lover or not, you’re going to want to taste this Grilled Ratatouille Salad recipe. It’s made with eggplant, onion, red bell pepper and summer squash. But before you start cooking, find out which one of the ingredients is egg-stra good for you.

Why this key ingredient is egg-cellent

It’s often thought of as a vegetable but actually is a fruit. When eaten raw it has a bitter taste, but once cooked, it has a mild flavor that pairs well with bold ingredients. Any guesses? It’s eggplant, which has some surprising health benefits.

High in antioxidants

Eggplant is a good source of antioxidants, which protect against cell damage caused by free radicals (harmful substances). Over time, your body can accumulate a large amount of free radicals, causing a process called oxidative stress to occur.

A few factors that may lead to this process are radiation, pollution, eating processed foods and injuries. Oxidative stress also can contribute to the development of cancer, autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular disease. One way to fight back is to eat foods that supply antioxidants – they protect and repair your body.

Full of fiber

One cup of cooked eggplant (cubed) contains 2.4 grams of fiber. That’s about 5 percent of the daily requirement for adults. This is important for a happy and healthy digestive system.

Healthy weight management

While high in fiber, eggplant is low in calories. That creates a perfect combination to maintain a healthy weight. A cup of eggplant (cubed) only has 20.5 calories.

Supports heart health

Since eggplant is rich in antioxidants and fiber, eating it also may improve your cholesterol levels. This may lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Let’s start cooking

Eggplant may be the star of the show for this Grilled Ratatouille Salad, but don’t forget about the other ingredients that add all the flavors to make this a tasty dish.

Grilled Ratatouille Salad


  • 2 Japanese eggplants
  • 1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 1 medium summer squash
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, pitted black olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, optional


  1. Slice the eggplants 1/2-inch thick.
  2. Slice the onion 1/2-inch thick.
  3. Quarter the squash lengthwise.
  4. Cut the bell pepper into 1/2-inch pieces lengthwise.
  5. Brush the eggplant, onion, bell pepper and squash lightly with oil.
  6. Place in a vegetable basket and grill on a hot grill.
  7. Remove the onion, bell pepper and squash after 10 minutes or when browned and tender; remove the eggplant after 12 minutes or when browned and tender.
  8. Coarsely chop the grilled vegetables.
  9. Place in a bowl. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, Italian parsley, oregano, thyme, 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Toss with cheese.
  11. Spoon rice onto 4 plates, if desired. Top with ratatouille.

Serves 4.

This recipe is brought to you by your health care partners at LVPG Primary Care – reminding you a healthy outside starts from the inside. To learn about LVPG primary care or to find a provider near you, visit

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