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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Crispy Onions

Usually when you cook things with eggplant, the dish often turns an unappetizing grey. This salad is different because of the bright beautiful green from all of the cilantro and mint. The creamy dressing is based on a coconut milk concoction that may become one of our favorites for other roasted and grilled veggies. We added zucchini, too, but the eggplant was the real star of the salad.

Grilled veggies + creamy dressing = yum!

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Crispy Onions


Crispy onions

2 T vegetable oil

1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise, quartered, and then thinly sliced

Salt and fresh ground pepper


1 ½ C unsweetened full-fat coconut milk

2 TBSP cornstarch

¼ C fresh lime juice

1 ½ tsp Demerara or granulated sugar

1 T fish sauce, optional (but super tasty!)

1 tsp to 1 T red pepper flakes

6 long eggplants, halved lengthwise

(depending how spicy you like your salads)

3/4 C coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems

¼ C fresh mint leaves

Salt and fresh ground pepper


In a small microwave proof bowl, combine 1/2 tsp salt, 2 T oil, and onion slices. Mix to coat onion well. Microwave on full power for 4 minutes. Stir well. Continue to microwave on full power, stirring every minute for 4 to 10 more minutes. The onions will brown nicely, and crisp. Set aside, uncovered, to cool.

Grill the eggplant over a medium grill until soft and beginning to char, and the flesh meets no resistance. Transfer to a bowl to cool, reserving any juices.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a 1-quart saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk and cornstarch, then place over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour into a medium bowl, and let cool 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and sugar, then taste and add salt. Add fish sauce, if using. Add 1 tsp pepper flakes (reserve the remainder for serving). You are aiming for a dressing that’s equally sour, sweet, and salty. Stir in cilantro and mint. Set aside.

When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, cut them crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces, add to bowl with the dressing. To serve, either sprinkle the entire dish with the crispy onions or serve them in a bowl along side, as well as the chili flakes.


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