The third of our Hungry Fran Guest Columns… thanks to Ellie Parker!
My husband’s family can’t cook*. This is clearly their problem not mine. I honestly wouldn’t mind so much except that every Christmas their dead turkey problem becomes my dead turkey problem. Solution? If Mohammed won’t come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed. Like a crazy food mule, I fly to Canberra each year with the makings of a complete feast: glazed hams, frozen turkey ballotines, whole sides of smoked salmon and potato salads. This eggplant salad is also a Christmas Eve frequent flyer. It seems to improve with both age and altitude. It’s also perfect for balmy Summer nights.
Sweet and Sour Eggplant Salad
Serves 4, great with pink roasted garlicky lamb or roast chook
1 medium eggplant
100ml olive oil
1 purple onion finely sliced
1tb currants (don’t freak out about the fruit element here – it really does work, so just go with it)
1tb pomegranate molasses
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A drizzle of honey
175ml hot water
1 bunch mint, torn
Cut the eggplant in half length-ways then cut each half into half moons, 1cm thick. Put them in colander and sprinkle with salt. After 20 mins rise them under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat the oil and fry the eggplant pieces, turning them from time to time until they turn a light golden brown (you might have to do this in batches). Add the onion and currants to the pan. Mix the pomegranate molasses with the lemon juice, honey and hot water and add to the pan. Toss well, so that everything is evenly coated. Continue to cook until the onion and eggplant are both meltingly soft and caramelised. Leave to cool, then taste and adjust seasoning. Serve at room temperature with heaps of fresh herbs tossed through (mint or parsley). Add freshly chopped green or red chilli if you need an extra spring in your step.
*For any family reading this, don’t worry, I’m just being loose with the truth. Of course you can cook. I wouldn’t dare marry into a family that couldn’t.
For more from Ellie check out http://ellieslist.com.au/