Smoky Eggplant Salad with Cucumber Raita
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
Broiling the baked eggplants until their skins are black and blistered is the key to their hauntingly smoky flavor here.
- Six 1-pound narrow eggplants
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1/4 preserved lemon, peel only, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium cucumber—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and finely diced
- 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 2 tablespoons grated onion
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Prick the eggplants in a few places with a sharp knife. Bake them on 2 rimmed baking sheets until very soft, about 50 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler. Broil the eggplants 3 inches from the heat until blackened on top, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Slit the eggplant skins and scrape out the flesh, discarding as many seeds as possible. Finely chop the eggplants, transfer to a bowl and pour off any accumulated eggplant liquid.
- Stir the garlic, olive oil, mint, minced preserved lemon peel, lemon juice and grated lemon zest into the chopped eggplant. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put the cucumber in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle with a large pinch of salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Rinse the cucumber and pat thoroughly dry. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the yogurt and grated onion. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the cucumber raita and eggplant salad together, at room temperature.
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