October 23, 2008

Fire-Roasted Eggplant Salad (Ensaladang Talong)

This is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. Roasting eggplants gives them a smoky flavor (even more so if done over charcoal) and turns the flesh smooth and creamy. You can serve the eggplant on its own or add tomatoes and onions (like red, sweet white or even green scallions, whatever you prefer or have in hand) to extend the dish and have more to pass around the dinner table.

The long and slender Asian-variety eggplant is preferable. Prick them once with a fork (needed for steam to escape as they cook) and place them over the charcoal grill or the flames of your gas stove top. Turn them every couple of minutes or so to cook evenly. Once the skin turns black all around, take away from heat. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for about 5 minutes to cool down a bit. Keeping the eggplants covered also let them loosen their skin which makes for easier peeling.

Use your fingers to carefully peel skin off. Kitchen tip: Have a small bowl of water to rinse your fingers as you peel; the burnt eggplant skin tends to crumble and get all over. Top with tomatoes and onions and serve.

My parents eat them with a sawsawan (dipping sauce) made of vinegar and bagoong (shrimp paste) on the side. This salad is a great accompaniment to grilled meats or fried fish. But I especially like to serve this with adobo. I found the garlicky, vinegary sauce of the adobo provides a nice contrast to the smoky flavor of the eggplant and sweetness of the tomatoes.

5 comments:

Rosie said...

I can just imagine how tasty those eggplants are after being roasted and served with tomatoes and onions - perfect!

Rosie x

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I am going to have to try this one of these days. Delicious-looking salad!

Caroline said...

Rosie & js: thank you.

We Are Never Full said...

ohhhh yum. Those eggplants - i'm imagining the insides. i need to do this. healthy and delicious.

Caroline said...

Amy: Yes, this is one of those good-for-you-and-taste-good-too dishes.

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