thai spiced aubergines salad

this is, admittedly, a pretty bright and cheerful yellow. and it’s a good thing that it’s cheery, too, because we sure can need every cheerful little element we can get at the time…
you haven’t been let in on this really upsetting piece of news to date, and i’m feeling kind of guilty for not sharing it with you. but i just haven’t found the right words, or couldn’t muster the energy to write such horrible things, it’s either or. well, it’s something that was (and still is) somehow hard to digest… see, my sister in law and dear friend has got breast cancer. with two little boys, this family is really in some rough times. it came out of nowhere and shocked us all immensely. it was like a terribly loud wake up call. now of course we’re sticking together and everybody is trying their best to contribute to the situation. simply by presence, holding hands, giving a hug, eating cake, playing with the kids, providing a helping hand in a time that’s so tough. there is not much i can do (and it does drive you nuts, in a way i can’t explain…), but i believe it’s the little things: being there and providing energy and love. and well, the obvious asset i could bring into the fight is preparing meals. alas, one night per week, i stay with them and cook for the little family of four. and then we sit down and pretend for a few minutes that everything is all right. and we hold on to the belief that everything will be back to normal, soon. because it will be, only even better, and maybe enhanced by a new common strength and love of life. so, if you see some more yellow backgrounds in the near future, it’s a sure sign that we’re fighting on – and still cheerful.
thai spiced aubergines salad

2 aubergines, halved
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. acacia honey
1 organic lime, zest and juice
1 piece ginger, grated2 garlic cloves, minced
3 drops harissa or sriracha hot sauce
1 tbsp. sesame (white or black)
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tomato, deseeded and finely diced
1 tsp. fleur de sel (if needed, depends on the saltiness of your soy sauce)pinch chili flakes, if desired

preheat the oven to a high heat and turn on the grill function (if available). put the aubergine halves on a pan, cut sides facing up, and brush with the olive oil. roast for about 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s partially browned. let cool, then scratch out the flesh (a fork works just fine). in a bowl, combine all other ingredients to a simple, asian tasting dressing: sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic and lime juice, then season with harissa and/or chili flakes to desired hotness and salt (only if needed, depends on your soy sauce, as mentioned above). combine the aubergine flesh, tomato cubes, cilantro and sesame, pour the dressing over it and serve.

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