Aubergine Salad

Aubergine Salad

21/4lb (1 leg) long firm aubergines
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red chilli pepper, fresh or dried, seeds removed
generous pinch oregano
3 tbsp wine vinegar
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Serve with:
fresh, soft or mild, sliceable cheese
crusty white bread or wholemeal bread

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. While it is heating, chop off the ends of the aubergines, rinse and dry them and cut lengthwise in quarters.

Slice the flesh lengthwise into strips, cutting these in half if they are very long. Soak in a large bowl of lightly salted water for about 10 minutes or until the water turns a brownish-grey colour. Drain the aubergine strips and blanch in the saucepan of boiling water for 1Fi minutes. Drain again and spread out in a single layer on a clean cloth; cover with another cloth and blot dry.

Place the aubergine strips in a wide, shallow serving dish, sprinkle with the very thinly sliced garlic, the finely chopped or crumbled chilli pepper, oregano and a little salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the vinegar and about 4 tbsp olive oil. Stir and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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