Badridzhani Mtsvanilit (Herbed Eggplant Salad)

This salad goes well with grilled poultry or meat. It is wise to salt the eggplant here to ensure that it is not bitter. Otherwise the aromatic taste of the spices and herbs will be lost.

Serves 6
l 1arge (1 1/4 pound) eggplant
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Generous 1/2 cup of walnuts
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon of ground marigold
1/2 teaspoon of dried fenugreek
Pinch of cayenne
3/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (cilantro, celery leaf, parsley and dill)
2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

Slice the eggplant lengthwise, sprinkle it with salt, and leave it to drain on paper towel for at least 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Preheat oven to 500°F.
Place the eggplant pieces cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender.
Saute the onion in olive oil until golden. Set aside.
Finely grind the walnuts with garlic and spices. Turn out into a bowl and stir in the cooked onion. Add chopped herbs and the wine vinegar.
Let eggplant cool to lukewarm, then remove the skin and cut the pulp into 1-inch pieces. Mix eggplant thoroughly with the nuts mixture. Cool to room temperature before serving.

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