This roasted eggplant salad is wonderfully intense, not only from the aromatic crispy garlic and fresh coriander, but also because the roasted eggplants give it a distinctive smoky flavour. The chopped peanuts and sesame seeds add a crunchy texture to the soft flesh, which is dressed with garlic oil, fish sauce and lime juice.
2 medium eggplants
2 small shallots, thinly sliced & soaked in cold water
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon dried shrimps, pounded into floss
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon roasted peanuts, chopped
small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
½ lime, juiced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
To get that lovely smoky flavour, place the eggplants whole on a flat baking sheet lined with foil. Pierce the eggplants with a knife to stop them bursting during cooking. Place under a hot grill for 15-25 minutes turning them occasionally. Be sure to let the skin colour and char. While the eggplants are grilling, make the crispy garlic and oil. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and fry the garlic until golden and aromatic. Remove with a slotted spoon and cool. Drain the shallots and squeeze them in your hands to remove any water. Pop them in a bowl.
When the eggplants are ready, cool a little until they can be handled. Cut them in half and scoop out the flesh into the bowl. Mix in 1 tablespoon of the frying oil and the garnishes. Taste and adjust the seasoning so there is a balance of salt and sourness. Serve while the salad is still a little warm.
cooking time: 25 mins