Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Charred Eggplant Salad

"Somehow, the eggplant comes off with a distinct smoky aroma that you'll swear must have been cooked over charcoal."

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Eggplants always amaze me. They're my favorite vegetable to cook with since they can be manipulated in such exciting ways. This recipe from Chow grills them until they're tender and soft, then mixes them with an astonishing number of herbs including basil, mint, scallion, and parsley. Thinly sliced red onions, which quickly marinate in some red wine vinegar, provide a nice balance. The resulting salad is acidic, fresh-tasting, but still full of depth.

Chow has its own method for grilling eggplants, but I'm quite fond of a technique I learned a few years ago from KCRW's Good Food podcast. All you'll need is a heavy iron skillet. Lay the eggplant on a hot iron skillet and turn them every five minutes or so until they're blackened and very soft.

Somehow, the eggplant comes off with a distinct smoky aroma that you'll swear must have been cooked over charcoal. I used this technique to make some great baba ghanoush before and it worked equally well.

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