Surprise yourself and your guests with the mysterious taste of this incredible, creamy eggplant salad! It’s delicious on its own or as a side dish with your favourite protein.
As a cookbook writer and a food blogger, I like to browse various gastronomy literature and websites for inspiration and ideas; and, as a native Ukrainian and Russian language speaker, I often check out what’s going on in the Slavic cuisine world as I often find unique and interesting recipes. Last summer, I noticed a particular recipe that was getting shared around A LOT: a creamy eggplant salad.
Marvellous, elegant, mysterious, surprising, a total hit – these are just some of the words that were being used to describe this new salad. I checked out the ingredients and since it seemed very paleo friendly, I decided to give it a go and share a recipe with you guys.
The best way to describe this salad is it’s a like a coleslaw or a creamy potato salad made with pan-fried eggplant instead of cabbage or potatoes. The dressing is mayonnaise based, and the addition of egg makes it very satiating and balanced. A lot of the flavour comes from the pickled onions, which really do work so well. I really liked it and I enjoyed it both as a side dish with some lamb cutlets or chicken, and on its own for lunch.
Making this salad is pretty easy and there are only a few key ingredients. The only thing that does take a bit of time is frying the eggplant. But, it’s totally worth it! If you can’t eat eggplant (aubergine) for whatever reason, I’d say that you can replace it with roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus – I think that would work really well with the egg, pickled onions and mayo as well.
I’d be curious to know what you think of this salad, so give it a go and comment below.
- 2 large whole eggs
- 2 medium eggplants sliced into short strips or diced into cubes (see picture)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Coconut oil olive oil or macadamia oil for cooking
- 3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Pinch of black pepper
For pickled onions
- 1/2 medium onion white or red, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons boiling hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Place the eggs in boiling water and cook for 10 minutes until hard-boiled. Once cooked, place the eggs in cold water and allow to cool down before peeling and chopping finely.
- To prepare the eggplant, scatter the strips on a chopping board and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 10-15 minutes to pull out some of the moisture from the vegetable (this will make it less dry which means that you won't need to use as much oil for cooking them). The salting process also removes some of the bitterness from the eggplant (which you may or may not taste!).
- While the eggs are cooking and the eggplant is chilling, it's time to marinate the onions. Place the thinly sliced onions into a bowl and pour over the vinegar, boiling hot water and season with salt and honey. Mix through and set aside for 15 minutes as well.
- Back to the eggplant, my friends. Heat a thin layer of coconut, olive oil or macadamia oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add all of the eggplant and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pieces are golden brown and soft. Remove the cooked eggplant onto some paper towel to remove excess oil, then transfer the cooked vegetable to a mixing bowl.
- Add the chopped eggs to the eggplant and then pour in the onion marinade and the onions and add the mayonnaise. Add a little pepper and mix together. Taste for salt and season more if needed. It's best to leave the salad in the fridge for half an hour to 'set' before serving, but you can also enjoy it right away.