I love eggplants, or aubergines as they are called else. I find them delicious and fun. Whatever. And when you grill them? Divine.
There were some lovely eggplants on display the other day, and I couldn’t resist (and they were on sale!). I picked up a few and knew I would find something to do with them.
I had plans to go with a friend to the beach and I wanted to make a good, healthy and hearty snack to take with us. She was making bread, so I wanted something to go with that, so I came upon a Middle Eastern salad, which is meant to be put on bread, full of eggplant and tomatoes and cilantro and jalapeño.
I thought it would be perfect, so I set the recipe up in the cue.
I had a friend over for dinner that night, and that’s when it all went down hill, because I can’t leave well-enough alone. I ended up added many things to the original recipe, which changed everything.
In typical fashion, however, it was still delicious. The original recipe is from Food and Wine. They had walnuts in theirs, I did not have any nuts–hence the lack. They used regular tomatoes, I used cherry tomatoes sliced in half. I thought it needed more tang, so added the lime, and more cilantro, and an extra clove of garlic.
This salad is cool and refreshing. It is fantastic with bread, or on its own. It’s also exceptionally good when mixed with black beans and avocado. And when mixed with fajita peppers, mushrooms, and onions. It’s versatile and delicious and such a great summer food.
Two 1-pound eggplants, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
1 large jalapeño
Vegetable oil, for brushing
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
½ a lime
1 c cooked rice
- Light a grill. Brush the eggplant slices and the jalapeño all over with oil and season with salt. Grill the eggplant over moderate heat until nicely charred and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the eggplant to a work surface and let cool.
- Grill the jalapeño, turning, until charred and almost tender, about 4 minutes.0
- Peel and seed the jalapeño, then finely chop it. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch dice.
- In a large bowl, combine the cilantro, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, and rice. Add the eggplant, jalapeño, tomatoes and onion, season with salt and toss.
- Serve with bread, or without. Eat on it’s own, or as a side dish, or wrapped in a tortilla….the possibilities are endless.