Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shrimp and Eggplant Salad

I am not sure if anyone will be barbecuing this holiday weekend. Here is San Diego we have had heavy rain this morning, but I think the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend indicates better weather through Monday.

If you want to do something a little different to the usual hamburgers and hot dogs, this is a salad that combines many different flavors that go extremely well with the grilled
. It does require a fair amount of chopping beforehand, but once you've got the ingredients together, the cooking is relatively simple.

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 24 medium shrimp, peeled, cleaned, tails intact
  • 20 bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
  • 1/2 small, pineapple, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  1. Cut the eggplants diagonally into thin slices, toss in a bowl with the turmeric and 1 teaspoon sea salt, and set aside for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Drain the eggplants, transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil. Grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway, or until golden, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a saucepan over medium heat (this can be done indoors, or outdoors on your grill), add onion, garlic, spices, ginger and chili. Cook, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes.
  4. Add vinegar, sugar and tomatoes, and stir until tomatoes are just softened. Cool, then combine with eggplants.
  5. Thread the shrimp onto the soaked skewers and drizzle with remaining oil. Season with sea salt and pepper, then grill for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through.
  6. To serve, spoon eggplant salad into the middle of plates and place skewers to the side.
  7. Combine pineapple, cilantro and lime juice, and scatter over the plate.

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