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Salata de Vinete (Eggplant Salad)

'Salata de vinete' translated as 'eggplant salad' is a classic Romanian dip made with just four ingredients: eggplants, oil, lemon juice and salt.



Every family makes their salata de vinete differently, some mixing minced onion though it, some adding or omitting garnishes from it. This is just our simple but delicious version.


The pinnacle of eggplant salad eggcellence (sorry for the pun) for our family is a lightly coloured and airy dip. Tatiana's mother makes a beautifully smooth, airy and lightly coloured dip- just with a hand mixer. She says that the tricks are to cook it quickly over a hob, immediately peel the skins off (so their colour doesn't leach into the flesh) and to drain thoroughly, even overnight before mixing. To be honest, we've never had much luck recreating this magic, but either way it's made, it's delicious.


Sometimes a chunky dip is a nice change anyway 😜.


For us, an immersion blender always gives us the most consistent results when we want a smooth dip. There's less stress about cooking the eggplants perfectly and it helps fluff up the eggplants. Not to mention it is a whole lot easier to clean than an electric hand mixer, which can throw bits of eggplant everywhere!


Salata de vinete is traditionally eaten on bread, often with a side salad or just tomatoes. We're enjoying our fresh tomatoes, cucumber, onion and dill, so that's what makes up ours.


Hope you give this recipe a go! Let us know what you think if you do.





Recipe


Printable download below

Salata de Vinete
.pdf
Download PDF • 39KB

This makes ~10 generous servings


Ingredients

- 4 medium eggplants (around 1.5kg with the stems on)

- 250ml neutral oil. We use sunflower.

- 1 Lemon

- 1 tsp salt + more to taste

- 1/2 red onion, a few sprigs of parsley and olive oil to garnish



Method

  1. Wash and dry your eggplants. Keep the stems on so you can turn them easier.

  2. Cook your eggplants on a heat diffuser on your stovetop, otherwise on a BBQ on high heat until every side, including the bottom, looks and feels tender and the skin is charred. Look out for cracking on the skin (that means they're done or very close to done. ) ** See notes**

  3. Once cooked, attempt to peel immediately. (This will prevent the eggplant from staining and holding extra bitter taste).

  4. Put in a colander inside of a bowl, sprinkle generously with salt and the juice of half a lemon. Allow draining for at least an hour or until the next day.

  5. Dice up your eggplant, if you're going to use an immersion blender just coarsely. If you're opting for the hand mixer version, quite finely.

  6. Mix the eggplant, adding the juice from the remaining half of the lemon and the tsp of salt.

  7. Then, gradually add the oil in, to get a fluffier texture.

  8. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice to taste.

  9. Garnish with some onion, parsley and you're done!

**notes

  • You will likely get a more evenly cooked eggplant with lighter flesh if you cook over the hob. The quicker you cook the eggplants the less time the skin and heat will have to stain their insides. (The BBQ is easier to cook however since they're juicy and char)



Watch us making it here:

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