Eggplant Salad with Cumin and Fresh Herbs

As Nadia Roden was growing up, her mother prepared eggplants in so many ways--frying them, roasting them, stuffing them. This salad is one of Nadia's favorites.

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  • Servings: 8

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  • Two 1-pound eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Assorted olives, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 500°. Put the eggplants on a large rimmed baking sheet and prick them in a few places with a knife. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 1 hour, or until blackened and soft. Scoop the flesh out of the skins, discard most of the seeds and finely chop the flesh. Drain in a colander, pressing lightly to extract as much moisture as possible.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the tomatoes, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thick and saucy, about 15 minutes.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggplants, tomato sauce, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, paprika and cayenne and season with salt. Spread the eggplant salad on a large serving plate. Scatter the olives on top and serve.

Make Ahead

The salad can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published February 2004

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