San Francisco’s Nopa is everything a great neighborhood restaurant should be: friendly, laid-back, with tasty food. Of our favorite dishes—and there are many—this smoky vegetarian salad from Chef Laurence Jossel really stands out.
Game plan: If you don’t have an outdoor grill you can also roast the eggplant. Heat the oven to 375°F. Prick the eggplants with a fork on all sides to allow steam to escape. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 35 minutes or until they’re soft and collapsed, then proceed with the recipe.
- Yield: 2 to 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr 15 mins
- Active: 15 mins
- 2 large eggplants
- 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 6 mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced to a paste
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium high (about 375°F). Add the whole eggplants and allow the skin to char all over, turning every 5 minutes. After about 30 minutes, the eggplants will collapse. Remove to a colander and allow to cool.
- Combine onion, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and vinegar in a medium nonreactive bowl. Allow to marinate at least 5 minutes.
- Once the eggplant is cool, scoop the flesh from the charred skin and coarsely chop it. Combine eggplant with marinated onions and remaining ingredients. Mix together gently and season well with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve at room temperature with grilled pita or baguette toasts.