This was so good that H. used an expletive to describe it. Ha. I won’t repeat that here, but this dish was a real winner. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The recipe comes from Meera Sodha, who has a weekly vegan column in the Guardian‘s Saturday Feast supplement. Larb is a Laotian salad. I was intrigued by the combination of flavours and decided to try it.
I would put this in the category of dinner party dish, or weeknight with a lot of time dish. It’s not that it’s particularly difficult or time-consuming, but it has quite a few components — the eggplants themselves, rice, salad, and dressing. If you like big, punchy, varied flavours, this dish is for you. Everything comes together both texture-wise and taste-wise — it’s bright, acidic, nutty, salty, crispy, herby, sweet, and creamy all at the same time.
I had some leftover sauce and salad, so I made an amended version the next day, with the eggplant diced and roasted. I actually preferred it this way — it was easier to eat. The way I have it in the picture admittedly looks much better presentation-wise though.