Middle Eastern eggplant salad

Middle Eastern eggplant salad
Middle Eastern eggplant salad Photo: Marina Oliphant
Dietary
Vegetarian

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.

Ingredients

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

Method

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.

To serve 

This salad is best made some time before serving - it keeps well in the fridge and is also really nice the next day.