Sunday, July 22, 2012

Marinated Eggplant and Cucumber Salad

I love eggplant. It's such a great vegetable. It's like a little sponge. You can roast it, grill it, saute it. Wonderful vegetable. And plentiful at this time of year.

I was contemplating a good side dish to bring to a BBQ that could sit out for a while and could be made ahead. This clearly leaves a lot of options on the table. But, as I said, I love eggplant. So I wanted to make a new dish that had eggplant as the main ingredient.

So, as I always do, it was off to search the interwebz for inspiration. That is when I came across Smitten Kitchen's marinated eggplant with capers and mint. I'm sure you're thinking well that sounds like a weird combo. But I was intrigued.

I wanted to throw my own touches in. For one, I've been loving the combo of cilantro and mint. And Cucumbers add crunch and texture and always seems to add a bit of coolness. And it worked out really well. It's a great side dish that held up well for several hours. A great cookout dish!

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
(the photos served 12 people, but the recipe is for 4)
1 lb eggplant
2 T lemon zest
5 T olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 medium cucumber
1/4 C mint
1/4 C cilantro
2 T capers

Preheat the broiler on the oven with a rack.

Slice the eggplant into about 1/4" slices.

Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil.

Put in the oven for about 12 minutes, turning the eggplant once.

While the eggplant is in the oven, prepare the other ingredients.  Zest the lemon and chop all of the herbs.

Remove the eggplant and put in a large bowl.

Peel, core and dice the cucumber.

Combine all of the rest of the ingredients.

Season with salt and pepper. Let the salad marinate for at least an hour. Serve at room temperature and enjoy.

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