Hello my dear readers,
I feel like we have just started this week and is already Friday, weekend is just around the corner 😉
We have learn more about eggplant this week and we have discovered Kolkata, now I’ll share with you one of my favourite dips of all time, which actually has a lot of variants based on country, in Romania we call it Salata de vinete, Greeks call it Melitzanosalata, in Lebanon is known as Baba ghanoush, in Persia is known as kashkeh bademjoon or borani, in India and Pakistan is known as Baingan ka Bhartha o Ojju.
I’ll share my version of salata de vinete, a dip which was very common in our home all year round and reminds me of my happy childhood.
- eggplants, preferably the ones with the dark purple skin
- salt & pepper
- fresh lemon juice
- mayonesse (optional)
How to do it:
First you need to start by roasting the eggplants. Preferably, eggplants are cooked by contact with a heated surface or even with direct flame, until the skin is charred and the core becomes soft, as it will give a lovely roasted taste. Back home we always used to do them outside, on a barbecue grill, directly on the flame, but here I don’t have this possibility, so I cook them in the oven. I cut them in half, make some scars with the knife and place them on a baking sheet and roast them for around 40-50 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees. Once ready, I take them out from the oven and let them cool completely.
If you have the possibility to grill them over high heat, remember to turn them as each side blackens, and then put the charred eggplants in a paper bag, close the bag and let the eggplants steam in their skins for 15-20 minutes, before removing the skin.
In the meantime, since I like it with mayonnaise, I just do my homemade mayo. In a bowl put an egg yolk, a tablespoon of mustard and pouring sunflower oil a little bit at a time until it becomes a cream. I also like to add a few drops of squeezed fresh lemon juice, to balance the oil fat. As simple as that!
Once the eggplants are ready, scoop the flesh if you baked them in the oven, or peel the skin off if you grilled them, and chop it well with a knife. I remember when I was little, that we used to have something like a knife but made from wood, that we used to chop the eggplant, because the steel knifes used to blacken the eggplants. But nowadays all knifes are from stainless steel so no problems.
Place the eggplants in a bowl, add finely chopped or grated onion and garlic, just a little bit, for 3 medium eggplants I use half small onion and one garlic clove, add the mayo and season with salt and pepper.
If you prefer without mayo, for a lighter version, you may skip adding the mayo, just add to the chopped eggplants the grated onion and garlic, a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Stir well and your salata de vinete is ready. Is even better if you can chill it for about one hour.
In Romania, we usually serve it on slices of bread and with tomatoes, or you can serve it drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of parsley.
And if you want something different, try Baba ghanoush, that instead of mayo they use tahini and cumin, a pretty nice combination too, served with pita bread.
Simple and poor ingredients but yet so delicious! 😋 😋
Who said we cannot enjoy good food at home? Is so easy and fun! You don’t believe me? Just try it! 😉
And always remember, life is too short! Eat and treat yourself in style!
Have a wonderful weekend!