This dark salad is a big favourite of the Chief Taster who likes big flavours – the meaty aubergine, the strong sesame taste, the salty soy. It’s also very eye catching.
If you serve together with an Italian zucchini salad of mozzarella, mint and pine nuts; and some fresh crusty bread you will have a very hearty lunch. You definitely need the bread as there is lots of wonderful juice.
Recipe for Black Salad of Aubergines and Sesame
- 1 aubergine – approximately 450g/1 lb
- 2 tbsps high quality soy sauce (not the ubiquitous, watery type – follow this link to find out more)
- 1 tbsp honey – the bitterer the better (chestnut is good, or something slightly resiny, for example, maple syrup)
- 2 tbsps tahini
- 2 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 2 tbsps capers – if in brine, drained and rinsed.
- sunflower or rapeseed oil for frying
- Slice the aubergine into slices about 1-2 cm/½” thick. If they are big slices then cut them smaller – they will shrink but you should be able to pick up the pieces with a fork and put them in your mouth without cutting them.
- Salt them lightly in layers in a colander, weight them (put a plate on top and some tins) and leave them in the sink to drain for half an hour.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the soy, sake, tahini and sake to make a dressing.
- Use some kitchen paper to dry down the aubergine. DON’T rinse them – you will just add back in all the water you have just taken out!
- Heat a generous amount of oil to smoke point, and fry the aubergine, first on one side, then the other. DON’T add salt – remember, you’ve already done that. You may need to do this in batches. Drain the aubergine on kitchen paper.
- Use the same frying pan to fry the capers on a high heat for 30 seconds or so.
- Put the aubergines into a pretty bowl, dress and toss. Serve garnished with the capers and the black sesame seeds.