This salad is another favorite from last summer! It doesn’t look beautiful, but don’t be deceived because it tastes lovely. Steaming the eggplant makes it sweet and creamy, without adding fat. The light dressing is flavored with ginger and sesame and is perfect to bring out the sweetness of the vegetables.
Chilled Eggplant and Tomato Salad<
Hiyashi Nasu to Tomato no Sarada
serves 4 as a side dish
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 2 Tablespoons minced scallion, white part only
- 4 Tablespoons komezu (rice vinegar)
- 2 Tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
In a small saucepan, combine the ginger, scallion, komezu, shoyu, sugar, and sesame oil. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Transfer the dressing to a small bowl, and cool to room temperature. Cover and chill the dressing.
- 4 to 6 Japanese or Italian eggplants, stemmed
- 1 medium tomato
Broil the eggplants until their skins blister and char lightly. Peel the skins. Cut each in half crosswise. Cut each section into quarters.
Put the tomato into boiling water for 30 seconds. Peel the skin. Cut away the core, then squish out the seeds. With my home-grown tomatoes, I put the clear tomato water back into the salad. Cut the tomato into 1/2-inch cubes.
Ms. Shimbo notes that her mother steamed the eggplants with skins-on; the skins turn to an off-putting grey, so she peels them for her version. If you can’t find small eggplants, you might be able to cut the wetter, seedier part out of a large eggplant. Peeling is a must, because large eggplants have thick skins.
I like to broil the eggplant over the gas flame on the stovetop then peel and steam. That method gives me more control over how soft the vegetable becomes—most of the time I can find only large eggplants which have more water and seeds than Japanese eggplants do. Sometimes it’s just easier to use a vegetable peeler and just steam!
Arrange the eggplant on a platter and top with the tomatoes. Chill. At the table, pour dressing over the vegetables. Toss and serve in individual dishes.
Note: If you refrigerate this salad with the dressing, it becomes watery. If you aren’t going to eat it all in one sitting, then it’s best to pour a bit of the dressing over the individual servings.
Other Japanese Salads from Tess