This fun take on classic tomato bruschetta will be sure to wow people lucky enough to eat it. When I created this recipe, I wanted something flavorful and warm. So, I decided I would grill both the eggplant and the tomatoes. The fresh herbs in the super quick vinaigrette really boost the flavor.
Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices on a mandoline if you have one. Put the eggplant in a medium bowl and add 1 tablespoon oil and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat.
Grill the eggplant in batches until there are grill marks, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and grill until there are grill marks and the eggplant softens and is no longer white, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Grill the tomatoes on each side until they begin to pop, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a medium bowl. Turn off the heat.
To make the vinaigrette, put the vinegar, mustard, sugar, shallots, garlic, pinch salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup oil while whisking continuously until emulsified. Add the basil, oregano and thyme; set aside.
Preheat the grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the bread slices with oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until the bread is crusty and you see grill marks, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Put the artichokes in a large bowl. Chop up the cooled eggplant. Remove the cherry tomato skins if desired; they should come right off. Halve or quarter the tomatoes and add to the bowl. Add the lemon zest and half of the vinaigrette and toss together. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Top each piece of grilled bread with 3 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture and some crumbled feta if desired.
The remaining vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.