Coriander Eggplant Salad

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon paprika
coarse salt to taste
4 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Wrap garlic cloves in aluminum foil. Prick eggplant all over. On a baking sheet roast garlic and eggplant in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until garlic is tender. Transfer garlic to a plate and continue to roast eggplant until blackened and collapsed, about 45 minutes more.

While eggplant is roasting, in a small skillet dry-roast seeds over moderate heat, shaking the skillet, until fragrant, being careful not to burn them, and in a mortar with a pestle, an electric spice grinder, or a cleaned coffee grinder grind fine.

With a large spoon scrape eggplant flesh from skin, discarding skin, and chop coarse. Peel garlic cloves and with flat side of a knife mash to paste.

In a bowl stir together eggplant, garlic paste, spice mixture, tomatoes, fresh coriander, lemon juice, oil, gingerroot, paprika, salt, and 2 tablespoons mint until combined well.

Salad may be made 2 days ahead and kept chilled, covered.

Sprinkle salad with remaining 2 tablespoons mint and serve at room temperature.



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