1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon (or more) ground sumac* (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
7 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 1/2 cups (loosely packed) arugula, torn if large
1 cup (loosely packed) small fresh basil leaves
1 cup (loosely packed) torn fresh sorrel or baby spinach leaves
1 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup (loosely packed) 1-inch pieces fresh chives
1/3 cup (loosely packed) fresh chervil leaves (optional)
2 10- to 12-ounce eggplants, stems cut off
Coarse kosher salt Nasturtium blossoms or other edible flowers (optional)

Whisk shallot, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon sumac, and cumin in small bowl. Gradually whisk in 4 tablespoons oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Combine herbs and greens in large bowl. (Dressing and salad can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover separately and chill.)
Using vegetable peeler, remove eggplant peel in vertical strips every 1 to 1 1/2 inches, making striped pattern. Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds in large colander. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and toss to coat evenly. Let stand until rounds soften and release moisture, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour. Rinse rounds, 1 at a time, and press to release excess moisture. Arrange rounds in single layer on several thicknesses of paper towels. Pat dry with additional towels.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry eggplant until golden and soft, adding more oil by tablespoonfuls as needed, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer eggplant to paper towels to drain.

Overlap eggplant rounds on platter. Sprinkle with pepper and more sumac, if desired. Toss herbs and greens with dressing; season to taste with salt and pepper. Mound salad atop eggplant. Garnish with nasturtium blossoms, if desired, and serve.

*A fruity and acidic seasoning powder made from ground dried sumac berries. It is available at Middle Eastern markets and by mail from Adriana's Caravan (adrianascaravan.com).

Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Bon App├ętit
August 2005

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