The humble eggplant has travelled far, having originated in India and Asia and eventually reaching Europe, America and the Middle East. It has been crumbed, fried, grilled, baked, steamed, stuffed, roasted, pureed and even pickled. It's in everything from curries to Chinese stir-fries, ratatouille, caponata and baba ghanoush.
3 eggplants, cut into cubes (about 3cm)
olive oil for shallow frying
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
50g pinenuts, toasted
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
1 cup coriander leaves
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sprinkle the diced eggplant with salt and place in a colander for about 30 minutes. Rinse with water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Heat a large pan with enough oil to cover the bottom and shallow-fry the eggplant in batches until golden brown all over. Drain on kitchen paper.
Once the eggplant has cooled, combine all the ingredients, season with salt and pepper and dress with lemon, vinegar and olive oil.
This salad is best made some time before serving - it keeps well in the fridge and is also really nice the next day.