Makes 3-4 servings
Roasted eggplant readily soaks up this exotic (but not difficult) vinaigrette, elevating this salad to focal point status for a light summer lunch.
You can make the vinaigrette well in advance. It will keep for a good long time, refrigerated in a tightly covered container. Let it come to room temperature (and stir from the bottom – or just shake it) before using.
Although designed specifically for the salad, the vinaigrette goes swimmingly (if not surprisingly) with any tossed green salad.
After you’ve used your 3 tablespoons of coconut milk for this recipe, preserve the unused remaining can contents by freezing it in an ice cube tray. Once firm, transfer the cubes to a heavy-gauge plastic bag (label it!) for longer storage. Pull out what you need, when you need it, and you will have wasted not.
1 ½ pounds eggplant, peeled if necessary, and cut into bite-sized pieces, ½-inch thick
Coconut-Lime Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 sweet, slender cucumber, peeled only if necessary, and diced (about 1/4 pound)
1 small (or half a medium) sweet bell pepper (orange or purple especially nice), diced
A handful of very sweet cherry tomatoes, halved (or even quartered) if large
About 10 mint leaves, minced
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Add minced jalapeno to make it a touch hot
Add a touch of lime zest to give it more zing
Toss in some minced basil – regular or Thai
Top with a few peanuts
½ to 1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons reduced fat coconut milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons agave nectar or sugar
5 tablespoons grapeseed, peanut, or canola oil
Yield: About ¾ cup