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Toasted Eggplant Salad

I will admit that it does take a while to prepare eggplant in this way, but I know you are all good multitaskers so read a book or cook the rest of your meal or think about how much you love your CSA box while that Eggplant is a-toasting’.


For the dressing/marinade (this is all approximate, I never measure, adjust to your liking):
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Salt and Pepper
2 or 3 medium eggplants, or several Japanese eggplants
2 cloves garlic
4 or 5 shitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds


  1. Make the dressing first, and put in a largish bowl.
  2. Slice the eggplant VERY thin (were talking a 16th of an inch here) in large rounds. If you are using Japanese Eggplant, slice them Very thin lengthwise. Basically you are trying to get a large surface area and a minimal thickness. Follow?
  3. Bring a DRY cast iron pan up to temperature (medium high heat) and slap those slices down. The slices will slowly release moisture and begin to brown and shrink slightly.
  4. Flip each slice over as it browns. Once both sides have browned, throw the slice into the bowl with the dressing. Repeat this process with every single slice of eggplant.
  5. While the slices are toasting, chop your garlic finely, and sauté with a little oil in a separate pan. Once the garlic has browned, add thinly sliced mushrooms. When fully cooked and extra floppy, add the mushroom mixture to the bowl.
  6. After 100 years has passed and all you eggplant is toasted, mix everything in the bowl so as to coat the eggplant in the dressing. Add the sesame seeds and ta da! Delicious!
  7. If you aren’t feeling the Asian flavors, you can make this decidedly Mediterranean with a few minor changes. Toast the Eggplant in the same way, and sauté that garlic, but omit the mushrooms from the equation.
  8. Switch the sesame seeds for freshly chopped Basil, and make the dressing a Balsamic vinaigrette by replacing the rice vinegar with balsamic and using lemon juice instead of sesame oil.
  9. Another thing. I have, with great success, used the Mediterranean version of this salad as a pizza topping. Please try it at home.