Grilled Eggplant and Avocado Salsa

March 16, 2015

Grilled eggplant lends its smokiness to the creaminess of avocado in this delightfully unusual salsa. Actually, I invented it by mistake. I had intended to make baba ganoush and as I gathered all the ingredients for the eggplant dip, I discovered that I didn't have any tahini. So I played around with the ingredients (what fun!). This salsa was born, and it's been a huge hit with my family ever since.

Grilled-Eggplant-and-Avocado-Salsa

  • 2 large eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Toasted crostini or crackers

Prepare a barbecue for medium-high heat. Using a small sharp knife, poke two 1-inche deep slits into each eggplant. Grill the eggplants until the skins are charred and the centers are soft, turning them occasionally, about 30 minutes total. Place the eggplant in a large meshed strainer and cool slightly. Cut each eggplant in half and scoop out the pulp. Place the pulp in the strainer to drain any excess liquid. Cool the eggplant completely. Coarsely chop the eggplant and transfer it to a large bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, roast the red peppers on the barbecue or over a gas flame until lightly charred all over, about 10 minutes. Enclose the peppers in a plastic bag until cool enough to handle. Peel, seed and dice the peppers. Add the diced peppers, avocados, tomatoes, parsley, mint, cilantro, lemon juice, green onions, olive oil, garlic, salt, seasoned salt, and pepper to the eggplant. Gently toss to combine.

Transfer the salsa to serving bowls. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with toasted pita bread wedges or crackers.

Cook's Notes: The eggplant may be cooked under the broiler instead of on the grill, if desired. To do so, line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place the eggplants on the prepared sheet and broil until the eggplants are very soft and the skin is charred, turning every 5 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Servings: 8 appetizer servings