Eggplant Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers

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2 medium eggplants (total 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
2 or 3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
1 finely diced large tomato
1 finely diced pickling cucumber
2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper
cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Prick eggplants a few times with fork. Grill above medium-hot coals for about 1 hour; broil for about 40 minutes, turning often; or bake at 400 F for about 1 hour. When done, eggplant’s flesh should be tender and eggplant should look collapsed. Remove eggplant peel, cut off stem, and drain off any liquid from inside eggplant. Chop flesh fine with a knife.

Transfer eggplant to a bowl. Add garlic and mix well. Stir in olive oil. Stir in tomato and cucumber. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper; season generously. (Salad can be kept, covered, 2 days in refrigerator.)

From Faye Levy’s wonderful book International Vegetable Cookbook

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