Moroccan Eggplant Salad
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- Scant teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 pound/1 large firm eggplant
- 1 small, red onion, or 1/2 large red onion, chopped
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp chopped flat parsley, divided
- Electric spice grinder OR mortar and pestle
- toasted or plain pita, possibly decorated with olive oil, sumac, and/or paprika
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare a baking sheet with your choice of liner.
- Char/smoke eggplant on open flame of your stove's burner. Put the burner on high, and put the eggplant directly on the burner grate. Turn regularly with tongs until most of the skin is scorched.
- Put eggplant on baking sheet and pierce the stem end several times and optionally score the sides with a sharp knife.
- Roast in oven at 400 F until the eggplant starts to collapse, about 40 minutes to an hour. Take out of oven and let cool.
- While roasting, prepare onion. Trim and chop onion.
- Also toast cumin seeds at medium in a cast iron pan. Toast until fragrant and browned. Stir often, don't over toast.
- After toasting grind in mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Set aside.
- When the eggplant cools enough to handle, cut and scrape it out of the skin into a bowl.
- Mix eggplant with 1/4 cup red onion, red wine vinegar, sugar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp parsley, and 1/2 tsp cumin you toasted and ground earlier.
- Taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt, lemon juice, vinegar, or tahini for richness (if you have some on hand).
- If you let it sit, the flavors will blossom and get into balance.