Grilled Eggplant Salsa
Preheat grill to medium or preheat broiler to high.Advertisement
If grilling, skewer garlic. Place the garlic, whole shallots and eggplants on the grill rack. Grill, turning as necessary to expose all sides to the heat, until very soft: about 6 minutes for the garlic, 8 to 10 minutes for the shallots and about 12 minutes for the eggplant. If broiling, place garlic, shallots and eggplants on a lightly oiled baking sheet and broil about 4 inches from the heat; leaving the oven door ajar. Broil, turning a few times, until well softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Peel the garlic and shallots and place in a food processor. Pulse several times to chop, but leave it chunky. Scrape the eggplant flesh from the skin into the food processor. Pulse several more times to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl; stir in minced chile and fish sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with cilantro (or mint).
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Tips: Look for fiery hot Thai “bird” chiles or fresh cayenne chiles in well-stocked supermarkets or Asian markets. If you can't find them, serrano or jalapeño chiles can be used as a substitute.
Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian-food section of well-stocked supermarkets and at Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our recipe testing and nutritional analyses.