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Grilled Eggplant with Fresh Salsa

I like Japanese eggplant because they are the right size for a single serving. Next issue: what is the difference between Salsa Fresca and Pico de Gallo? There is debate, but Pico de Gallo is usually chopped while Salsa Fresca is pureed. The recipes are essentially the same, it is simply a matter of texture.

2 Japanese eggplant

Olive oil for brushing

Salt and pepper or Creole Seasoned Salt

Prepare the Salsa Fresca (recipe follows). Prepare the grill for hot direct cooking. Slice the eggplant in half, lengthwise, removing the stem end is optional. Brush both sides of the eggplant with oil and season the cut side.

Grill the eggplant cut side down for 4 minutes directly over the fire, lid closed. Turn the eggplant and grill for an additional 2 minutes, or until tender.

Remove the eggplant to serving dishes and top with the salsa.

Salsa Fresca

1 slice of red onion, chopped

1/2 to 1 hot banana pepper, seeds and membranes removed, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1 medium tomato, cored and chopped

Pinch of salt

Juice of 1/2 lime

Combine the first 3 ingredients (onion through cilantro) in a food processor and pulse to a fine chop. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to a very fine chop or puree. The tomato will produce significant juice. Remove the contents to a sieve and drain off the excess juice.


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