So. Can we eat raw eggplant? Yes! Do we want to eat raw eggplant? Yes again.
The inspiration for this simple summer salad came from a few slices of eggplant leftover from another recipe, just hanging out there on the counter whispering, "Try us, try us, we'll taste great, maybe." They'd been dipped in nothing more than olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper. How would the raw eggplant taste? Good!
The eggplant's white flesh is pleasantly spongy (definitely NOT mushy) and the skin provides great texture as well as color contrast. I do think that texture's especially important to consider when adding other ingredients, you don't want the whole salad to be soft, some crispness is important.
I also suspect that the more-tender Asian eggplant is the appropriate choice here, versus the big fat globe eggplants that are easier to find, at least in my supermarkets here in St. Louis. I do see Asian eggplant occasionally at Dierbergs but my local Schnucks added them when I asked, but dropped them when they didn't sell. I once compared several eggplants, their photos are here with the recipe for Eggplant Caviar.
UPDATE: I've learned from a reader/friend that like green tomatoes and green potatoes, raw eggplant contains a natural chemical called solanine that can upset the tummy! If yours is sensitive, you might choose another recipe.
RAW EGGPLANT SALAD
Time to table: 10 minutes
Makes 2 cups (easily adjusted for fewer or more servings)
Juice of a lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/2 tablespoon good olive oil
Agave or honey to taste (I used about a teaspoon)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Asian eggplant (those are the long slim ones)
1/2 - 1 rib celery, chopped small
Kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
1 - 2 tablespoons capers
Fresh basil, chopped
VINAIGRETTE In a bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients.
SALAD Trim the ends off the eggplants. Lengthwise, cut the eggplants in quarters; cross-wise, cut the eggplants about 1/4-inch thick. Drop the eggplant into the vinaigrette and stir well. Stir the eggplant off and on while prepping the other ingredients, you want the pieces to soak up the vinaigrette. Toss in the remaining ingredients. Serve and savor!
OTHER IDEAS Red pepper, mini mozzarella balls, grated carrot, chopped fennel
~ Eggplant Steaks ~
~ Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Honey Syrup ~
~ Summer Vegetable Curry ~
~ more eggplant recipes ~
MORE 'RAW' RECIPES
~ Quick 'Massaged' Kale Salad ~
~ Zucchini Carpaccio ~
~ Raw Corn Chowder ~
~ more 'unusually raw' recipes ~
~ more Weight Watchers recipes ~
~ more low-carb recipes ~
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