Friday, August 26, 2005

Kitchen Experiments: Warm Salad of Char-Grilled Japanese Aubergines and Roma Tomatoes

For the uninitiated, the brinjal/eggplant/aubergine/nasu might look like a rather alien object. After all, it is purple and most conventional vegetables come in shades of green. Nature however has its way of working itself out, although being a rather purple, it turns into an elegant slightly sweet mush that it turns to when roasted or grilled.

While wandering around the Tiong Bahru Market, I spied with my little eyes some Nasu while we were picking up some carrots. I’ve never seen them in the local market and so I picked three and brought them home in my market basket. Discovering the Nasu (Japanese Eggplant) was exciting, since Relative to their Western counterparts, they have thinner skins, are generally longer and slender and are slightly sweeter and delicate in flavour.

So after flipping and flipping and flipping, I settled for this recipe from the book Cuisine Unplugged by Emmanuel Stroobant:

Warm Salad of Char-Grilled Japanese Aubergines and Roma Tomatoes
Serves 4


Tomato Confit (Recipe Below)
300g of Nasu
250ml Olive Oil
2 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds, roasted and crushed
20g basil
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp rock salt
2 tsp black pepper
Juice of 2 lemons


Prepare tomato confit in advance

Slice aubergines into halves and drizzle with olive oil. Char-gill for 5 minutes on each side.

Toss grilled aubergines with the rest of the ingredients including the tomato confit, adding lemon juice last.

Tomato Confit:

300g Roma Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into halves
1 tbsp sugar
3 tsp rock salt
2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp basil, chopped
125 ml olive oil


Lay tomatoes flat on a tray. Season with salt, sugar, pepper and basil. Drizzle the olive oil and bake at 80 degree Celsius for 3 hours.

I was thoroughly satisfied with my nasu dish and hence I’m going back to the market to get me somemore.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooh, looks yums! I love eating eggplant though some people find it too mushy. For me, the mushier the better! heehee.

I also think eggplant must be the only vegetable that has three different names in English!

3:21 PM  

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