Charred until the skin is ugly and blackish. That's what you should do to these eggplants. I had been dubious about it ever since I was a kid when I would enjoy the only eggplants dish you would see me eating. I love the smoky taste to it without any bitterness that you would think you would get with the blackened skin. As you peel it off, you arrive to the rich taste of the pulp with such an incredible flavor. It's a perfect partner for grilled fish. In the Philippines, the only way to make this salad is with vinegar, fresh tomatoes and onions. Now that the childhood quirks to food limitations have finally ceased and opened up to a whole wide world of food, I am enjoying eggplants more. Parmigiana? Now that's another eggplant love.
Thinking back to my years of growing up, I had vague memories of the eggplants getting charred straight on the stove fire. When I saw one of my favorite Italian chefs cooking the eggplants that way, I immediately Googled it. Yes it is being done in other countries. I was more than excited to explore again what made me love eggplants. I made two kinds of salads. One eggplant went to the Filipino salad while the other one went to another concoction with lemons, herbs and feta cheese. I am biased so I enjoyed every single forkful of the Filipino salad that I partnered with grilled fish. What else? The salad with the feta went very well too with the fish as well as being eaten alone. My husband loved it. That puts this dish to the recipes to keep.
Making this Charred Smoky Eggplant Salad with Feta, Lemon and Herbs is very easy. Just keep in mind that the eggplants can impart some of its juices on the stove itself. You can just wipe it off when the stove cools down or line the stove with aluminum paper. To complement the taste of the eggplants and you want Mediterranean flavors, add some olives and roasted peppers. For the roasted peppers, I have a favorite bottled brand that's preserved in olive oil so when I want to be quick about cooking, I use it. Otherwise, I roast my own peppers in the oven.