Everyone loves this eggplant salad. If I loved eggplant then I'd probably love it too. I actually do love everything about it except the eggplant. I'm thinking of adapting its components and leaving the eggplant out, but then I'd be in trouble by the eggplant-loving family I am part of.
But don't let me deter you, according to everyone who've tasted this salad, it's amazing. Naturally, my mother fries the eggplant, but I'm sure you can roast instead if you prefer. Like in this salad.
This would be a perfect addition to a summer barbecue or fancy lunch.
2 medium eggplants, sliced or quartered
1/2 cup oil, for frying1 large bell pepper, roasted
1/4 cup sliced olives2-3 jalapeno, finely diced
2 preserved lemons, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoon vinegar
juice from ½ lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
To prepare the eggplant, place the pieces in a colander and sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt. Let it sit (preferably in the sun) for 1-2 hours. Dry each strip with a paper towel. Heat the oil in a fry pan on medium heat. It's hot enough when a splash of water sizzles across the oil. Fry the eggplant until cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel, to absorb the excess oil.
Meanwhile, roast the bell pepper in the oven or on the stove. Let it cool, peel and dice.
In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk well.
Assemble the salad by combining the eggplant, bell pepper, jalapenos, olives, preserved lemons, garlic and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss lightly. Serve cold or at room temperature.