Macedonian Eggplant Salad

We’ve been getting some very nice eggplants this year; they are one thing that seem unfazed by the very high temperatures we had earlier in the summer, and in fact even happy about it.

This would have done better – prettier at the very least – with some red pepper and tomatoes, but alas! Neither of ours have achieved a state of redness yet. Soon, I hope. 

 4 to 6 servings
30 minutes prep time

500 grams (1 pound; 1 to 3) eggplant
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh oregano
1/4 large red OR yellow pepper
1/4 large green pepper OR 2-3 slices pickled hot peppers
1 or 2 small red tomatoes, optional
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Wash and trim the eggplant, and poke it in a few spots with a knife or fork. Rub it – or them – with the oil. If you have only one large eggplant, or if they are much more than an inch thick, they should be cut into thick slices or halves before they are rubbed with oil.

Put the broiler on, and let the oven heat up for a few minutes, then cook them for 10 to 12 minutes one level away from the closest position to the broiler. Turn them half way through. Let cool enough to handle before proceeding. If you do outdoor grilling, that would be an excellent way to cook your eggplants. They can be cooked at least somewhat in advance, although if you chill them they should be brought back up to at least room temperature before being eaten.

While they cook, peel and mince the garlic. Wash, dry well, and mince the herbs. Wash, trim, and finely dice the peppers and tomato. Mix all these in a salad bowl. When the eggplant is ready and cool enough to handle, chop it finely or mash it coarsely, and mix it in with the oil and vinegar. Season with salt to taste. Serve soonish.

Last year at this time I made Thai Basil Fried Eggplant (huh) which I noted was the first of the year at the time. Wow! I think I picked the first for this year at least a month ago.

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