Asian Eggplant Salad

by Elissa

If I'm making a Mediterranean-style eggplant dish (e.g. ratatouille or caponata), I tend to stick with traditional globe eggplants, which are usually readily available. But I recently decided to branch out and try some of the Asian eggplant varieties available at my farmer's market. I went for an Asian eggplant recipe that I've made before using globe eggplants, and the Asian varieties worked just as well (if not better). 

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The recipe comes from Melissa Clark, who has rarely steered me wrong. The only change I made to the recipe was to increase the rice wine vinegar to 2 teaspoons to give the dish a little more acidity. The ginger and sesame oil in the dressing are a welcome twist, and I was able to use up the last of our thai basil and some late tomatoes from our garden.  

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This is a great side dish because it can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. The kids were initially a little suspicious, but once Lane caught a whiff of the fragrant dressing, he demanded a large serving and polished it all off (of course, this is not guarantee that he will eat any next time I make this dish, but I take my victories where I can get them!)  

Perfect accompaniment for a shrimp and bok choy stir fry. 

Perfect accompaniment for a shrimp and bok choy stir fry.