27 March 2010
Shana's eggplant & parsley salad
Photo courtesy of Shana Hillman
- 2 or 3 long Japanese eggplants, or smaller, tender Italian-style eggplants
- 1 lemon
- Really big handful of parsley, roughly chopped
- Pinch of chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons of brine-packed capers - or salt-packed capers rinsed of their salt
- Olive oil for drizzling eggplants and finishing salad
Cut eggplants into 1/4 inch coins. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, then add a pinch of chili flakes and toss to coat. Now, you could grill this outside, but I have the worst luck dropping the slices of eggplant down into the coals - and I hate losing even one. If you have a cast-iron grill pan, use that directly on the grill or the side burner if you have one. If it's winter, you can grill them on the stove top in your grill pan or arrange slices on a cookie sheet and broil until they start to get golden. Watch it closely - if you turn away even to check facebook, then the next thing you know it's burned. Flip them over and broil the other side until golden.
Toss cooked eggplant coins with parsley and capers; give them a good squeeze of lemon and drizzle with more oil. Share them if you can.
Leftovers - if there are any - are fantastic on a sandwich with salami, cheese, and ham. They take on an almost pickled texture after a night in the fridge with the lemon juice and olive oil.
In the summer when markets are overflowing with eggplants, I make this salad. Luckily, because my office is on the edge of Chinatown, I have access to the long, thin Japanese-style eggplants for a good price all year 'round.
On a busy weeknight, this salad with some store-bought hummus, pita, olives and cherry tomatoes makes a quick and easy dinner platter. Crank up the heat and you might just trick yourself into thinking it's summer!
Shana Hillman grew up in a small town in northern Ontario where she gained experience in animal husbandry and strawberry farming. She has called Toronto home for the last 13 years. She loves cooking, preserving and growing Beagle-resistant vegetables in her sunny backyard. Recent highlights have included cheesemaking on the kitchen counter and curing pancetta in the basement, much to the horror of her adoring, yet dubious husband, and to the delight of her two ravenous Beagles (who are now banned from the basement until further notice).