I wasn't entirely sure what I was planning when I came home with these 3 unique eggplants; they were just too pretty not to buy! There is the always the delicious baba ganoush but I felt if that were the dish I was going to make, I should have likely purchased 3 of the less exepensive purple FRUIT. Did you know that? I did not. It's prepared as vegetable, so that's what I consider it - despite it actually being a fruit. The Kitchn has a good little summary of the different varieties. But basically, it's a slightly bitter fruit (whatever. vegetable) that softens and develops its flavour when cooked. They are delicious and I love them.
Eggplant vs. Aubergine. It just depends where you are from. That simple. (Or Brinjal if your are from certain South Asian or African counries)
Going for the summer theme, I wanted a salad that was light and fresh. This can easily be eaten as is (alone) - on top of a pile of greens - or as a sideshow to a bigger dish. Like many of the things I opt to cook during the week, it's dead simple and requires very little effort.
You do not need to purchase a pompous variety of eggplant to make this yummy salad. 1 kind will do, but if you are a nerd like me, there is something slighly more satisfying about cooking with the pretty trio. The white version has a harder skin and a slightly more subtle flavour, but I highly doubt it is detactable in this dish.
3 eggplants (use less if you are feeding 1 or don't want leftovers)
1/2 - 1 red onion
1 cup white vinegar
handful of sundried tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 lemon, juice of
3-4 tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
freshly ground pepper
Head oven to 400. Place whole eggplant on roasting tray and poke with a knife a few times to allow steam to esacpe. Roast for 30-40 minutes until it starts to look shrivelled. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
While eggplant is cooking, thinly slice onion and soak in 1 cup of white vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, salt and sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
When eggplant is cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop out the flesh. Chop into rough 1" pieces and place in a serving bowl. Drain onions and add to bowl, along with chopped parsley and tomoatoes. Gently toss until all ingredients are combined and the eggplant is covered in dressing. Sprinkle with panko and pepper. Serve & Enjoy!
NOTE: These are homemade "sundried tomatoes". Dead easy. Half some cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with salt. Place them in the oven at 200 for 3 hours. Sorted!