With the arrival of summer comes the long awaited challenges of what to do with the copious bounty of fresh produce that comes to market throughout the summer and early fall months.
At the moment it is eggplants galore here in Thailand, so here is yet another zesty charred eggplant recipe to liven up some summer meals.
This smoky charred eggplant salsa has endless applications. Serve as a relish with crab or salmon cakes, with grilled meats, poultry, or seafood. Or try slathering it onto a crusty bruschetta. A great quick meal in itself or served with drinks, soups, and salads!
Smoky Charred Eggplant Salsa Makes about 2 cups
- 2 medium size eggplant; charred
- 2 large or 3 smaller jalapeno chilies, charred
- 1 vine ripe tomato, charred
- 4 garlic cloves skin on, lightly pan roasted
- ½ cup diced onion
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- good pinch of sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Place the whole eggplants, whole jalapenos, and tomato on a rack set directly over a medium flame on the stovetop or outdoor grill.
Using tongs, turn the eggplants, jalapenos, and tomato until they are blistered and charred on all sides; the jalapenos and tomato about 8-10 minutes, the eggplant about 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, tightly seal with cling film, and set aside to sweat for 20 minutes.
Peel the charred skin off the eggplants, jalapenos, and tomato. This can be a bit messy, but do not be tempted to peel off the skin under running water as you will be flushing away the flavor. Rinse your hands instead!
Tear the eggplant into strips and transfer to a colander to drain for at least an hour. Not exactly enticing looking, but the beautiful smoky flavor makes up for it. Dice the strips and place in a bowl.
Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove the pithy veins and some of the seeds. Then slice the jalapenos into thin strips, then dice and add them to the eggplant.
Cut the tomato into quarters, remove the pithy core, and crush using your hands until broken into small bits. Add to the eggplant mixture.
Lightly roast the whole garlic until lightly colored. Remove the skin, mince, and add them to the eggplant mixture.
Add the onions, lime juice, coriander, salt, pepper, and sugar. Toss until well combined and then stir in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate until ready to serve.