End of the year free for all

tomatoes2The ten days of Indian summer last week certainly was the last hurrah of this growing season. Over the weekend, I picked twelve pounds of red tomatoes, not counting cherries, and a dozen Japanese finger eggplant. All these came to maturity during those lovely, warm fall days. Now that the weather has turned cold — and may drop to freezing on Thursday, it’s time to harvest the fruits of the garden and cook.

I found another great recipe in the Moro East cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark, a Syrian salad of eggplant, tomatoes and pomegranates, all fall fruits. This recipe grills the eggplant until the skin is charred. As you may have figured out, I roast everything. (I find it intensifies the flavors while adding a nice smokiness.)

grilled eggplant salad with tomatoes and pomegranates

3-4 medium globe eggplant or 10-12 Japanese eggplant
1 tablespoon tahini
1 1/2 – 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 small garden onions or 4 shallots
seeds of 3/4 of a pomegranate
1 small bunch of mint, chopped
juice of 1/2 medium pomegranate (to juice a pomegranate) or 1/2 cup of store bought pomegranate juice
1 clove garlic, crushed

1. Roast or grill the eggplant until soft.
2. When cool, remove the soft flesh into a bowl. With Japanese eggplant, I remove the tops and use them whole. Roughly chop the eggplant and mix until it forms a chunky paste. Add tomatoes, onions, garlic and pomegranate seeds. Stir in juice and mint. Add salt to taste.

Letting the salad chill for 4 hours enhances the flavors. The pomegranate adds a nice zest to the creamy eggplant.

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