I love Thai salads. LOVE. They are, to me, perfection on a plate. It doesn’t matter whether they’re made with crunchy vegetables, citrus fruits, or savory meats. The common denominator for all of these salads is their salty, sour, spicy, and slightly sweet dressing. It grabs your attention and makes you want more. Or at least makes me want more! I can’t get enough of them, and as such, I’m constantly on the look out for new ways to make Thai or Thai-style salads.
So when I saw these gorgeous Thai eggplant at the farmer’s market this weekend, I knew what I had to do!
Before turning them into a salad, though, I spent a fair amount of time just staring in awe at the sheer size of them! I mean, have you ever seen such an enormous Thai eggplant before?? I actually bought the purple Italian eggplant simply for size comparison to give you an idea of how huge these Thai eggplant were! They must have been at least 3-4 inches in diameter.
After I was done gawking, I sliced the eggplant into generous rounds, brushed them with oil, and threw them on the grill.
Then it was simply a matter of tossing the grilled eggplant with fresh herbs including mint, shallots, and cilantro and adding some red bell pepper slices for some crunch. The finishing touch, of course, was topping the salad with the delicious Thai salty, sour, and spicy dressing made of fish sauce, lime juice, and dried chili flakes.
The charred grill flavor of the eggplant combined so well with this bright, refreshing dressing. It was a really yummy Thai-style salad, and a wonderful new way to enjoy Thai eggplant — or any eggplant for that matter!