Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Roasted Eggplant Salad

I love eggplants. I love them in moussakas, in lasagnas, in tempuras and most especially, roasted in a salad. This salad is very versatile. It can be served as a light appetizer, or as a side dish for anything barbeque'd. I love this salad when I eat my very Filipino meal of fried fish and rice. It adds a zing to the meal and wakens the appetite even more. Let me show you how I prepare this kind of salad.

2-3 oriental eggplants (long thin purple ones)
1/2 medium onion
1 large tomato
Bagoong (sauteed Filpino fermented shrimp)**

1. On a grill, roast the eggplants until the skin is nice and charred. You can also use the direct flame method (that I use) using a metal rack placed on top of your stove and roast the eggplants directly over the flame. You can also use an oven but you won't get that charring effect on the skin and the taste is slightly different. Remember to pierce the skin with a skewer or a fork all over. You don't want it exploding on you while you are grilling or roasting it. (It happened to me and the results were not pretty. Pretty much my kitchen was sprayed with eggplant innards).

2. When the skin of the eggplants are nicely charred and cooked, pop them in a paper bag and let them sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes. The steam from the cooked inner meat of the eggplant will soften the charred skin and make it easy to slip it off. Take the eggplant out and gently rub the charred skin away. Chop or dice the eggplant in small squares and put in a mixing bowl.

3. Roughly dice or chop the onion and tomatoes and add to the mixing bowl. Toss all the ingredients together. Add a tablespoon of bagoong and toss again. Serve as a side dish to your meal.

**If you don't have bagoong, use other fermented shrimp pastes as a substitute.

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