Saturday, August 17, 2013

Moroccan Eggplant and Olive Salad ~ A Perfect Dish for your Summer Table

This dish is exotic and familiar all at the same time.  There is no salt in the dish, but the salty green olives provide a perfect contrast to the other ingredients.  It's served at room temperature and will be the perfect side dish on a hot summer Meatless Monday.



Eggplant is a species of nightshade commonly known as aubergine and also known as brinjal, brinjal eggplant, melongene, or guinea squash. It is widely used in cooking, most notably as an important ingredient in dishes such as moussaka and ratatouille.  Of course throughout India and northern Africa the vegetable appears in many dishes and is very popular.



The recipe originally appeared in The Costco Connection and I thought I would give it a try.  As usual, I've made a few modifications.  It was a big success and I think you and yours will enjoy it too.  

Ingredients
2 medium eggplant
1 egg white
1 cup grapesee oil
1 red bell pepper
1 cup pitted, pimento stuffed green olives
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Basil or Parsley to garnish

Instructions
Rinse the eggplants and pat dry.  Cut them in half lengthwise, then cut the halves into 1 inch thick slices.  Rinse again in a colander.  Mix the slices in a bowl with the egg white.

Heat grapeseed oil in a frying pan.  Saute the eggplant slices until they have absorbed some of the oil and are browned on both sides.  Remove and place on paper towels.


Roast the red pepper on all sides to blacken.  Cool pepper and peel.  Cut in half and remove seeds and white membranes.  Discard the burnt skin and interior trimmings.  Cut the pepper into small squares. Place the red pepper in a bowl.


Cut the green olives into halves and add to the red pepper.  Mix in the garlic.  Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Add the cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes.  Combine the eggplant and red pepper mixture. Serve at room temperature and garnish.  Makes six servings.


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