We’ve given you a few of our favorite recipes before, but this Romanian Roasted Eggplant Salad recipe (Salata de vinete reteta in Romanian – it’s really more of a spread than salad) is hands down our favorite, along with a side of roasted red peppers (ardei copt)! We have made it for a few friends at pot-lucks and it is always a hit, and is relatively simple to make. So, let’s fire up the barbecue or get a fire going, and lets start! Also, it goes GREAT on some homemade bread…
You don’t really need any special equipment, but there are a few things that are handy. For starters, you need heat. Traditionally, these are roasted over an open wood flame, but I’ve found you can do just as well on a hot barbecue, or even in the oven. However you do it, you’ll want to char them good until the skin is dried, blackened, and peels right off. I always roast the red peppers at the same time – give them enough space so they don’t steam each other out.
A wooden knife – WHAT?!? A Wood knife? Hear me out; eggplant seeds are bitter, so your sharp excellent kitchen knife will chop them all open and make the salad bitter. Some people also say this might just be the metal reacting with the eggplant, which is another possibility. The one thing that IS certain is you do NOT want to use a metal knife for this part. So, what my dad did was take an old small cutting board and bevel it down until he had something he could chop the eggplant with, and I’m still using this. You’re not going for sharp here, you’re just going for something that will break the eggplant up – save the sharp knife for chopping the onion. And a bowl to mix it all in – you’ll want one that is NOT METAL. IF you don’t have one with a lid, these silicone lids come in handy. We’ll take you through the recipes together, which is how we cook everything.
Salata de vinete – Ingredients:
4 Large Eggplant (Look for the “male” version vice the “female” ones – they really aren’t male, per se, but are said to have fewer seeds)
~1/2 Cup Olive (or Avocado – our preference) Oil, or Mayonnaise (we prefer oil)
1 Egg (optional)
2 Teaspons White Wine Vinegar or Lemon Juice
Ardei Copt – Ingrediants:
4 Red Bell Peppers
Olive (or Avocado – our preference) Oil
Get your grill hot or fire burning. Roast the eggplant and red peppers on all sides until they are almost completely blackened and softened; don’t worry if a couple break or burst. Transfer the peppers to a container and cover. Cut the ends of the eggplants open so that they can drain, and lay them on a tilted plate or cutting boards to drain until they have cooled down enough to handle. When they have cooled down a bit, peel all the skin off of them and discard the skin.
Once they are peeled, chop up the eggplants using your wooden knife, and transfer to a large non-metal bowl. Finely chop the onion and add it to the bowl. Give it a few grinds of salt and add a the vinegar or lemon juice. Stir it together while you slowly drizzle in the oil or the mayonnaise (but NOT both!) and stir until smooth and your desired consistency. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. At this point, you can add the egg if you used oil (but not if you used mayonnaise!), but it’s completely optional. Warning; the CDC states that eating raw eggs can expose you to a germ called Salmonella that can make you sick, so not recommended for young children, pregnant women, or anyone worried about Salmonella. Put it in the fridge to cool down.
By now the red peppers will have cooled. Place a strainer over a bowl big enough to hold all of the peppers, and peel them and remove the stems and seeds. give them a couple pinches of salt, and add the oil and balsamic vinegar.
That’s it! You can garnish the top of the eggplant with a couple slices of fresh peppers or pickles. Enjoy the Salata De Vinete Si Arde Copt with a little toast, and let us know what you think! Don’t forget to subscribe to The Adventure Syndrome and get all of our updates! Poafte buna!