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Grilled Eggplant Salsa

Grilled Eggplant Salsa

This excellent salsa can be served as a side dish with barbecued lamb kabobs, atop rice pilaf, or ladled into an omelette with equal aplomb.

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1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Salt

1 cup corn kernels, rinsed well if canned

Olive oil for brushing

3 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 poblano chile, roasted just brown in places and minced

2 green onions (scallions), finely diced

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2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced fresh basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano

Put eggplant slices in a colander (over a plate or in the sink), and sprinkle with salt. Let drain for 30 minutes, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast the corn kernels in a single layer in a shallow baking pan for 2 minutes, shaking the pan every 30 seconds, until a few kernels have turned golden brown in spots. Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn the oven setting to broil. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices lightly with olive oil. Arrange the slices on a grill rack approximately 6 inches away from the heating element, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut the eggplant slices into 1/4-inch cubes and toss with the other ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Makes about 3 cups. Cooked Cilantro Salsa

Cilantro's soapy-lemon flavor is an acquired taste for some; other people can't make salsa without it. I use this salsa to top baked potatoes and steamed vegetables, and sometimes I mix it into rice pilaf.

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 bunches cilantro, leaves only (approximately 1-1/2 cups)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it foams, add the onion and garlic, cooking until the onions turn clear. Lower the heat to medium, and add the cilantro and seasonings. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is absorbed. Remove from heat, place in a small bowl, and serve immediately.

Do not store. Makes about 1-1/2 cups. Toy Box Tomato Salsa Recipe adapted from "Salsa" by Reed Hearon (Chronicle Books)

This salsa was created to showcase the summer's finest small tomatoes. Best about a half hour after being made. Never refrigerate fresh tomatoes.

1/4 cup sliced leek, white part only

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cups mixed yellow and red baby tomatoes, stemmed and halved

3 tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and diced

1 serrano chile, minced with seeds

1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh lemon thyme or basil or summer savory

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small skillet over low heat, "sweat'' leeks in the water and olive oil until tender. Do not let brown. Cool and mix together with other ingredients in a bowl. Makes about 2 1/3 cups.


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