My Smoked Eggplant Salad Recipe

I have an obsession with eggplant. Versatile as it is elegant, eggplant can be as delicate or as bold as you want it to be, and jives extremely well with many different flavor combinations.

Since my last eggplant recipe post was one where it was sliced, roasted, and served with a garlic yogurt sauce, I wanted to share a different technique that’s just as simple, yet gives you a completely different mouth feel. Whole eggplants are chargrilled on the barbecue or roasted in the oven, leaving you with a soft & silky flesh that’s slightly charred on the inside.

I’ve given you two variations of this eggplant salad recipe, one with pine nuts, and one with pomegranate (seeds & syrup). Feel free to play around and use different herbs and spices. I often simplify the recipe and toss it with only spring onions, olive oil, lemon and Maldon Salt. Simple, clean, and delicious.

aubergine salad prep

Serve this salad on it’s own, or as a side dish to a more complex meal (it goes beautifully with white-fleshed fish such as grilled sea bass or halibut). It’s fabulous either way!

note: your eggplant will have a slightly smokier flavor if charred on the barbecue than when roasted in the oven.

Eggplant Salad (serves 4 as a side dish)

Ingredients:

  • Two medium whole eggplants
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or Maldon salt (you might need more, check for seasoning after assembling your salad)
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ of a small red onion, thinly sliced

For the pine nut variation:

  • ¼ cup pinenuts, lightly toasted on a skillet

For the pomegranate variation:

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (“debs roman” in Arabic)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 F) or your barbecue to medium-high heat.

Start by gently “stabbing” little slits all over the eggplant with a sharp knife (about 10-12 times). If using your oven, place the eggplant on a sheet pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Leave them relatively undisturbed, however you will have to turn them once or twice so they do not burn. You are looking for somewhat of a charred skin – don’t worry if you see black spots. Apply the same method if using the barbecue – you will need to turn the eggplant a bit more often.

Grilled whole eggplant vs baked aubergine

Once cooked, allow the eggplant to sit until cool enough to handle. Gently cut lengthwise in half, and start scraping the flesh away from the skin. Remember to get the black bits of the flesh – this is what will give your salad it’s characteristic smoky flavor.

the inside of a roasted eggplant.jpg

Tip # 1: try to avoid getting the black skin into your flesh, it can give the salad a bitter taste.

Tip # 2: If the eggplant is very “seedy” try to scrape out some of the seeds (not all) to get a smoother texture.

Once you’ve separated the flesh from the skin, drain the liquid over a strainer. The eggplant may contain a lot of water, so let it drain for a bit longer.

straining the aubergine flesh

removing bitter liquid from eggplant

eggplant aubergine flesh in white bowl

Add salt, olive oil, lemon juice, along with the green and red onions. If making the pine nut variation, add them now. If making the pomegranate version, add the seeds along with the syrup. Mix well, taste to check for seasoning, and serve.

eggplant and pomegranate syrup

Eggplant with herbs and pine nuts

aubergine eggplant salad with onion & pomegranate seeds

Bon appétit!

Advertisements
Standard

Hello September! A post-summer update

Green…

That’s the first thing that strikes me every time I re-visit Canada. From trees to grass – the viridescent landscape against the indigo sky gets me every time.

caledon ontario landscape canada

pretty house in ontario niagara-on-the-lake

As our two-month summer holiday came to an end last week, my husband and I packed up our family and headed back to Dubai from my hometown of Montreal. It was one of the longest holidays we’ve ever had, and to be quite honest, it was also one of the most memorable. It’s safe to say that bidding farewell to summer was bittersweet for all of us.

where canada meets the united states lake ontario

Easy, breezy summer days spent with family and friends proved to be the perfect antidote to the hot and sticky weather we faced as we fled Dubai just weeks before.

lidija on the lachine canal

girl holding summer squash and radish salad with fresh mint

cousins holding hands

Swimming lessons, barbeques, and outdoor birthday parties filled our days, which for the most part, felt endless and free.

summer bbq games

Armed with cheese, baguette, and fresh local produce, picnics in the park became part of our daily ritual, and road trips to Toronto, Niagara Falls, and New York City were welcome getaways that added spice to our holiday landscape.

new york view from central park

moments in cental park

a man and his camera

niagara falls lidija's kitchen

Rain or shine, we spent most of our time outside – trust me when I say that my kids would do cartwheels if they saw as much as a raindrop! Day trips to the local farm, as well as an impromptu pit stop at a peach orchard on our way to visit the local wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake were some of the many highlights of our trip.

little girl in a peach orchard ralph lauren floral dress

two sisters winery niagara-on-the-lake

From a culinary perspective, we ate well.

Maison Kaiser NYC.jpg

An epic lunch at Bar Pitti in New York wrapped up our getaway  perfectly.

For foodie friends that are looking at places to eat in Montreal, I’ll be sharing my favorite restaurants and food experiences on my blog next week, as well as recipes inspired by treasures from trips to the farmer’s market.

cow at quinn's farm

strawberries from the Atwater market montreal

tomatoes from the Atwater Market

Until then, I’ll leave you with a few images that sum up what I loved the most about our magical holiday. While my blog hiatus is officially over, and I’m somewhat sad to kiss summer goodbye, a new season of excitement is on the horizon!  A bientôt.

central park ducks

central park moments part two

Cousin love

Standard