Brinjal Tacos With Pico de Gallo are almost self-explanatory: You broil (or grill) heavily seasoned brinjal slices, chop them up and serve them on warmed corn tortillas along with a simple pico de gallo.
The salsa has built-in crunch and spice, while the already-meaty brinjal becomes even more so with the addition of coriander and cumin. I wouldn’t object if you added pumpkin seeds or scallions, queso fresco or feta.
None of that would be wrong, but these are already right.
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Brinjal Tacos With Pico de Gallo Recipe:
4 servings (makes 8 tacos)
MAKE AHEAD: The pico de gallo can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. The grilled brinjal can be refrigerated for 1 week; reheat it in a low-temperature oven or in the microwave before making the tacos.
Adapted from “Great Tastes: Cooking (and Eating) from Morning to Midnight,” by Danielle and Laura Kosann (Clarkson Potter, 2018).
For the pico de gallo
1 pound plum tomatoes
1/4 cup finely diced white onion
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
For the tacos
8 corn tortillas
2 pounds brinjal (preferably small), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
For the pico de gallo: Hull the tomatoes, then cut them in quarters from top to bottom. Use your fingers to scoop out and discard the seeds. Finely chop the remaining solids, placing them in a medium bowl as you work. Add the onion, jalapeño, lime juice and salt; toss to combine. Taste, and add more salt, as needed.
For the tacos: Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat to broil.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and have nearby a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around the tortillas. Heat as many tortillas will fit in the skillet without overlapping for about 30 seconds on each side, just until they’re starting to lightly spot and perhaps puff, and immediately transfer them to the foil as they are heated, keeping them wrapped while you warm up the rest. Keep them tightly wrapped until you’re ready to serve the tacos.
Arrange the brinjal slices on two rimmed baking sheets, in a single layer. Brush with half the oil, then season with half the salt, pepper, coriander and cumin, rubbing in those spices. Turn over the slices and repeat the brushing and seasoning.
Transfer one baking sheet to the oven; broil the brinjal until deeply browned, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip the slices and broil until browned on the second sides. Repeat with the second batch.
Transfer the brinjal slices to a cutting board, then cut the slices crosswise into strips.
When ready to serve the tacos, divide the eggplant among the tortillas, and pass the pico de gallo and lime wedges at the table.