I am Romanian and I always wanted to share with you a few of our traditional recipes. I think now is time to start and i would love to start with my sister’s favorite recipe – Salata de vinete- like we say in Romanian. I found that my husband doesn’t like this salad but it might be because he doesn’t enjoy eggplant anyway…
So here you go..for this recipe we need:
- 2 medium eggplants, about 1-1.5 lbs(try and buy eggplants that are long and slim not round-it is easier to cook)
- 1tbsp. salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- the juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 onion – chopped finely
- 8 black olive(optional if you like olives)
These ingredients should serve around for people.
You start by piercing the eggplant skin in several places with a fork. As tradition we cook them over charcoal but you can cook them over a broiler pan as well. For that you place on a rack over a broiler pan. Place the rack so that the surface pf the eggplant is about 2 to 3 inches from the source of heat. Set oven to broil. Broil for 45 min to one hour turning the eggplant each 15 min until they are soft and the skin is partly blackened and charred. It is normal for the skin to break open during cooking.
When cooked remove the eggplant from the broiler and place on a wooden cutting board. Let them stand for around 2 minutes. While still hot pull off the skin. As a tip you can dip your fingers in cold water so that you can keep them from burning.
After you peeled the eggplants cut off the stem end. Press aggplant meat to squeeze out water.With the edge of a wooden spoon or wooden spatula chop the eggplant meat until fine. Of course you can use a kitchen machine and chop the eggplant fine a lot faster but i promise you that the traditional way it’s best! My grandmother use to say that if you use metal on eggplant it makes it taste weird and i think she was right.
Then put the chopped eggplant in a deep wooden,glass or china dish,cover,and place in refrigerator to cool.
When cold add salt. Then while beating with the fork, add olive oil very slowly, in a steady thin stream. Add lemon juice,also very slowly,continuing to beat another minute or two.(Alternatevaly instead of olive oil and lemon juice you can add mayonnaise – this is the way my sister likes it!)
Serve thus as a refreshing appetizer or salad on small plates,decorated with a few olives or tomotoes. Placed chopped onion in a dish,and let each person,according to taste,add some and mix into the salad.
you can also serve this salad accompanied with grilled peppers. You can buy it in any supermarkets or you can wait for my recipe sometime in the next couple of days.
I love eating this salad on some toasted bread and topped with chopped tomatoes!