VIETNAMESE GRILLED EGGPLANT SALAD
This recipe is an adaptation from Christopher Kimball’s ‘Milk Street’ magazine. It’s summery and bright, perfect for hot days. The recipe is best made ahead of time and assembled just before serving; making it great for entertaining. Don’t let the somewhat long list of ingredients dissuade you, it’s an easy recipe that comes together quite effortlessly. This can be served as a side salad or as a main meal with coconut or steamed rice.
PICKLED CARROTS AND DAIKON RADISH
- 2/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
- 12 oz daikon radish, peeled and julienned
VIETNAMESE DRESSING (NUOC CHAM)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 to 3 small red chilies, chopped also called Thai chilies, if you can find them then use 1 or 2 serrano chilies
- 2 eggplants about 2 lbs, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1/3 cup peanut or olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1/3 cup mint leaves, torn, plus extra for garnish
- 1/3 cup basil leaves, torn, plus extra for garnish regular basil or Thai basil
- 3 green onions scallions, thinly sliced, plus extra for garnish
- 1/3 cup salted and toasted chopped peanuts, plus extra for garnish
To make the pickled veg:
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a 1-quart jar or container. Add the carrot and daikon, seal or cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
To make the dressing:
Combine water, sauce, sugar, juice and garlic in a 1 cup (250ml) jar, seal and chill until ready to use. The dressing can be made 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge.
To make the salad:
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.
Toss the eggplant slices with oil in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Cook slices for 3 to 4 minutes per side until softened and grill marks appear. Cut slices in half or leave whole depending on the side of the eggplant; let cool.
Drain and discard the pickling liquid from the veggies. Toss the veggies together with the eggplant, the dressing, mint, basil, green onions and peanuts. Arrange on a platter. Top with extra herbs, green onions and peanuts. Serves 5 as a side salad or 3 as a main.
Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1883mg | Potassium: 813mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 4402IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg