Saturday, September 10, 2016

Warm Eggplant Salad

I was making grilled sausages tonight and was thinking about a salad with a Citrus Vinaigrette but I didn't have enough greens to make the usual. So, I pulled out two Eggplants and made a salad with them instead that was also a bit like a relish or a chutney. I cut the Eggplant into little pieces and roasted it and combined it with lightly sautéed red onion pieces and garlic so that they wouldn't be too strongly flavored and added some halved Cherry Tomatoes that I also cooked for just a few minutes. I used Lemon Juice and Olive Oil as the base of the dressing and I also included chopped Parsley, Mint, Cilantro and Scallion Tops. It turned out so wonderfully!  The Eggplant was creamy and the onions were still crisp. The Tomatoes melded into the Vinaigrette and the herbs made it taste really fresh. This salad paired perfectly with the Sausages and it was so delicious. I loved it!

Warm Eggplant Salad 

2 large Eggplants, cut into rounds about 3/4 inch wide and then into small cubes (skin on)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil for roasting + 1 Tablespoon for cooking Onions
1 small Red Onion, cut into small pieces
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
24 Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice (about 2 medium Lemons)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 - 2 teaspoons Sugar (depending on how sour the Lemons are)
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Parsley, minced
2 Tablespoons Mint, minced
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, minced
2 Tablespoons Scallions minced (green part only)

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil on the pan and place the Eggplant pieces on top. Then drizzle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil on top of the Eggplant. Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes or until the Eggplant is just beginning to brown and is soft. Remove from oven and let cool slightly

In a small frying pan, add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil. Cook until the onion just becomes translucent and add in the garlic, stirring until you can smell the garlic fragrance. Add in the Cherry Tomato halves and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the Tomatoes get a little soft and they start to form a little bit of sauce.  Remove and pour into a large serving bowl. 

Then add in the Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Salt, Sugar, Parsley, Mint, Cilantro and Scallions. Mix thoroughly to combine and add in the Eggplant. Stir to combine and let sit for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors meld before serving. 

Five Element Analysis

Eggplant belongs to the Water Element so that element is fully covered.  The Lemon Juice an Olive Oil contribute the Wood Element and the Tomatoes bring in the Fire Element. The fresh pungent herbs add the Metal Element. So, only the Earth Element is missing and that's easily fixed by making sure you serve a sweet dessert after the meal. 

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