I'm always looking for alternatives to mayo when it comes to salads. I've used Greek yogurt and even guacamole to great success, but smoked mashed eggplant pulp is really where it's at when it comes to binding ingredients.
This super-simple smoked eggplant fingerling potato salad recipe is great for cookouts because while you've got the grill fired up, you can toss a couple of eggplant halves on there, forget about them for a while, then remember them, think you burned them and discover that underneath that dark layer of char is savory velvety-smooth smoked eggplant ready to blanket your potatoes. Serve this easy-to-prepare side with any grilled fare you like — chicken, fish, steak or simply alongside other summer vegetable dishes.
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 large eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, then fill the pot with water and add a couple of tablespoons of coarse salt.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat slightly and boil potatoes until fork-tender, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your grill to medium heat and prepare the eggplant halves by rubbing them all over with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Drain the potatoes and let cool completely.
- Place the eggplant face-down on the grill, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until charred on the outside. Remove from grill and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Halve the potatoes lengthwise and place in a large bowl, then scoop the flesh from under the charred outer skin of the eggplant and add it to the bowl with the potatoes.
- Add the rest of the olive oil, onion, lemon juice and parsley and toss to combine.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, let sit, covered, for 30 minutes and serve.
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