Monday, January 08, 2007

Grilled Eggplant - Tomato Salsa

I brought home a fresh, commercial Mexican-style salsa from the gourmet market featuring grilled eggplant a while back and my husband demanded it become a refrigerator regular. The bad news is I wasn’t able to find it again. The good news is that it inspired this sauce when I was looking for a way to jazz up a grilled flank steak. I wanted a more Italian tasting sauce instead of the finely chopped heat of the Mexican salsa and was very happy with the result. The sauce would also be good over pasta or polenta.

I know it's winter, but we grill all year round here in the Bay area of California and with the unseasonably warm weather those of you on the East Coast have been experiencing, why not enjoy a nice grilled meal? For those of you whose outdoor bbqs and grills are covered by deep snow drifts, try making this in a grill pan or on an indoor electric grill. Grilling also brings out the flavor of winter tomatoes.

Grilled Eggplant - Tomato Salsa

Grilled small Italian or Japanese eggplants, cut in half and brushed with olive oil before grilling, coarsely chopped
Grilled tomato halves, chopped
Grilled red onion slices, chopped
Grilled red pepper halves, chopped
Fresh chopped basil
Fresh chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley
Good quality olive oil
Splash of red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash red pepper flakes

Combine and enjoy.

Note: The amounts are variable to your taste and the quantity of salsa you want or need to make. You might start with two Italian or Japanese eggplants (those are the smaller, slim ones; leave the peel on), two medium large tomatoes (four halves), one medium large red pepper and one small (or half large) red onion. For this amount I would add two to three tablespoons of the chopped herbs. Add olive oil to moisten and red wine vinegar and seasonings to taste.

Next time I make it, I am going to add some good quality, pitted, green olives, chopped, and maybe sub some oregano for the basil. Maybe I'll remember to take a photo and post it, too.

About the photo: Taken in September in the Napa Valley.

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