Broiled Eggplant with Cilantro Vinaigrette
To Serve 50:
25 small (4-ounce) eggplants
1 3/4 cups olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
To Serve 6:
6 small (4-ounce) eggplants
8 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Halve eggplants lengthwise. Brush cut sides with 1/4 cup oil and season with salt. Arrange as many eggplants, cut sides up, as will fit in 1 layer on rack of a broiler pan and broil 2 to 3 inches from heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn oven setting to 450 degrees. and move pan to middle of oven. Roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining eggplants.
Blend remaining 1 1/2 cups oil and remaining ingredients in a blender until emulsified.
Serve eggplants at room temperature, drizzled with vinaigrette.
Cooks' notes: Eggplants may be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. You can make the vinaigrette without lemon juice 8 hours ahead (with lemon juice, only 1 hour ahead) and chill it, covered.
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