Let’s be clear: I hate Food & Wine Magazine, okay? There was never such a useless, flashy, pretentious piece of tripe on newsstands just begging my ‘good-life’ aspiring, faux Gucci wearing, “The Valley” name dropping, hipster chic-addicted, soul-deprived friends to buy it. One such dear one actually brought me one, and I am still completely bewildered as to… why. Oh. Yeah. For the article on tomatoes. Which the woman grows with the help of her Latino staff and has her caterer prepare for her party guests at her fabulousa Valley estates. WHATever.
But for all that it’s just another empty, soul-starving, glossy, yawn-inducing, read-in-the-dentist’s-office magazine, I did find an interesting tidbit I might have to …improve upon. It’s an eggplant dish.
Now, I’m not fond of eggplants. Frankly, they just don’t have enough nutritional value to me to bother wanting to deal with their inherent… sliminess. So sorry, but there you have it. I’ve done them in stir-fry, but since we’re keeping fat and carbs on the down-low, there hasn’t been any parmesan happening… and it’s just as well, since you kind of have to fry the eggplants first… And, since our garden seems content to produce six pounds of eggplants a WEEK, I’ve got to do something. So, I am slumming with the depressingly chirpy and wealthy foodies, and hoping to improve upon their August featured Thai Vegetable and Smoky Eggplant Salad. Almost nothing could be easier than this salad. Unbelievably, I have almost all of the ingredients just sitting around at home, growing on the deck, or fresh in the garden right now, and we’ve got a beach picnic this weekend!
- 2 long purple eggplants (1 1/2 pounds each)
- 8 fresh makrut lime leaves, minced, or 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 red Thai chile, minced
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 Hass avocado—halved, pitted and thinly sliced (have to buy that!)
- 1 large carrot, cut into thin julienne strips
- 1 medium English cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- Snipped chives, for garnishing
- 3 tablespoons chopped mint
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
Light a grill. Using a fork, prick the eggplants in a few places. Grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until the eggplants are very soft and blackened all over, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and let cool slightly. Cut the stems off the eggplants and scrape off the charred skin. Tear the eggplants into long strips and discard the seeds. Transfer to a bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the lime leaves with the lime juice, soy sauce, chile, brown sugar, garlic and lemon zest. Stir 3 tablespoons of the dressing into the eggplant. Arrange the eggplant, avocado, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and red onion on a platter. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the vegetables. Sprinkle the chives, mint and cashews over the salad and serve.
MAKE AHEAD: The smoky eggplant salad can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight.
One Serving= 314 Calories, 16 gm Total Fat, 2.6 gm Saturated Fat, 41 gm Carbohydrates, 13 gm Fiber.
Now there is NOTHING like flavor in a salad, and this sounds really flavorful and unusual, even with the slimy squash-stuff… I may give it a shot. It seems like it needs something crunchy… here is possibly where a good salad goes bad, but oh well.
T-1 Day until Baking Commences! A sugar-free zucchini bread is planned; quick breads are notoriously gummy and deeply soggy if not baked slowly and thoroughly. Hard to believe we’ll be testing the oven soon! Hopefully this won’t be the last of our small purchases for home improvement…