This past month I was quite pleased to open up a local magazine and see my own smiling face looking out at me. Weird. The last time my name appeared in print was when I was voted Falmouth High School Prom Queen – last century. Yikes! (If my mum were still alive that newspaper clipping would still be on her refrigerator!)
Fortunately, in this publication, I was not wearing a tiara.
The article was about healthy eating and nutrition here on the Cote d’Azur and I felt honored to be written about as one local resource for healthy eating. Another local woman to be mentioned was Johanna Rossi, the founder of Live A Nourishing Life – a Monaco based company that helps clients to embrace a whole foods lifestyle. In addition to client consultations and meal services Johanna provides a fantastic service delivering fresh, locally grown, organic vegetables weekly to her clients in Monaco. Brilliant!
Since our little write-up in the local Riviera Reporter Johanna and I have connected. It’s great to meet like-minded people in the area who share a common goal – to help our peers eat healthier and be healthier.
This week I got my hands on some of Johanna’s lovely aubergine (aka eggplant – depending on which side of the pond you live on). I adore eggplant, fortunately, because it is abundant here in the south of France. This is probably why most people lean towards Mediterranean recipes when preparing the lovely purple veg. Put an eggplant in my hand and I think immediately of tomatoes, garlic, pasta, risotto, basil, cheese – mamma mia! But eggplant is not limited to Mediterranean cooking. It is also widely used in Asian cuisine and pairs beautifully with Thai flavors.
This salad is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. It is fresh, healthy and full of flavor. It’s a great addition to summer barbecues and goes well with grilled meat and fish. Everything can be prepared ahead of time and you can toss it all together shortly before serving. It also sits well so I often make a large batch and enjoy the leftovers the next day. If you don’t have access to chilis you can used crushed red pepper flakes (but in smaller quantities!). The salad is meant to be spicy but the level of spice is up to you. Try your chilis first to test their level of heat.
Summers are hot.
Salads are cool.
Aubergines are abundant.
So forget the cheese and pasta and enjoy eggplant Thai-style instead!
- 650 g/ 1.5 lbs aubergine/eggplant
- 3 Tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
- 3 Tablespoons chopped coriander/cilantro, plus additional for garnish
- 3 spring onions/scallions, sliced
- 3 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1½ Tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped green chili
- ½ large red pepper, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped peanuts
- Cut the aubergine in quarters, lengthwise.Place eggplant on an oiled baking sheet, skinside down, and lightly brush with olive oil.Salt and pepper. Bake in a 200C/400F oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Mix all remaining ingredients except for the peanuts in a medium bowl. Cut the aubergine into chunks and add to the bowl with dressing.
- Toss well and garnish with coriander and chopped peanuts.