Grilled Eggplant with Pistachios and Mint Salsa

This vegetable accompaniment could stand on its own as a main course

12 small eggplants, 3-4 inches long salt

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, sprinkle liberally with salt and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes.

For the Salsa

1/2 cup shelled pistachio kernels
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper
Blend the nuts, mint, parsley, garlic and scallions to form a fairly smooth paste.
Stir in rest of ingredients and let stand.

Wash the eggplants thoroughly, dry well, brush with oil, and place under a broiler for 4-5 minutes until skins blister and char. Turn over and brush with oil, brown 1 minute until brown, and serve hot with plenty of salsa.

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