Eggplant Salad

Eggplant Salad
4-6 servings
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2 large eggplants (about 1 1/4 pounds each)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
6 green onions (including tops), chopped
1 cup minced parsley, preferably flat-leaf
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried leaf basil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup good olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prick eggplants all over with a fork and place in a baking dish.  Bake in preheated oven until skin is blistered and flesh is very tender (about 45 minutes).  Remove eggplants from oven; set aside until cool enough to handle, then slice in half and scoop out pulp.  Chop pulp; discard skins.  In a medium bowl, combine chopped pulp, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, garlic, celery and basil.  Toss to blend and refrigerate until chilled.  When ready to assemble salad, combine vinegar, Tabasco sauce, cumin, pepper, sugar and salt in another medium bowl; whisk until blended.  Whisking, constantly, add oil in a slow, steady stream.  Pour dressing over eggplant mixture; toss to combine.  Let mixture stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving, stirring often.