Chef's Recipes

Eggplant salad with shallots and salted ricotta

The smoky flavours of coal-roasted eggplant are complemented by ricotta salata and sweet golden shallots in this stand-out salad by Longsong chef David Moyle.

By David Moyle
  • Serves 4 - 6
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking
Eggplant salad with shallots and salted ricotta

"Shanklish is great with this dish instead of the salted ricotta," says David Moyle. "Any style of salty cheese will work well here."


  • 2 large (about 500gm each) eggplant
  • 300 ml grapeseed oil or other neutral-flavoured oil
  • 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 50 gm ricotta salata (see note)
  • Torn basil (optional), to serve


  • 1
    Prepare a barbecue for grilling. Prick eggplant all over with a toothpick to prevent them bursting, then place directly on coals and turn occasionally until scorched all over and beginning to collapse (20-25 minutes). Place in a heatproof bowl to cool briefly, then peel. Tear eggplant into thumb-sized pieces and season with salt.
  • 2
    Heat oil in a wide, heavy-based saucepan to 150°C. Remove pan from heat, add shallot (be careful, hot oil will spit), then return to high heat and stir continuously with a fork until light golden brown (3-4 minutes). Strain and reserve 2 tbsp oil (remaining oil can be reserved for frying another dish).
  • 3
    Gently warm fenugreek seeds and reserved 2 tbsp oil to 100°C in a small saucepan for 6 minutes. Transfer oil and fenugreek to a mortar and grind with a pestle. Strain through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl and cool, then season with lemon juice and pepper, add eggplant, toss to combine and transfer to a plate. Grate ricotta salata over eggplant with a Microplane, top with basil and fried shallots and serve.


Ricotta salata is available from select delicatessens and cheese shops. Substitute another salted cheese, such as shanklish, or a firm feta.
Drink suggestion: This dish needs the cut and gentle sweetness of a more robust rosé to work as the final condiment. 2017 Six Parallels South Aller Trop Loin Pinot Gris rosé is the ticket.
Drink suggestion by: Mike Bennie

  • Author: David Moyle