You know those times when you accidentally stumble on a winning recipe?
Love those times. And this is one of them.
I often make a similar dish (this turkish salad) for the first course of a Shabbos meal. It calls for fried eggplant, a couple of peppers, and fresh parsley. And it’s always a hit.
This marinated eggplant salad also calls for fried eggplant, a couple of peppers, and fresh parsley. Okay, there are a couple of differences — a vinegar/wine marinade here vs. a cumin-laced tomato sauce there — but at the outset, the two seemed almost too similar to warrant trying this one at all.
Of course, I tried it anyway. I mean, I really wanted to mark off another recipe with a “tried it” sticker.
That’s what you would do, too, right?
This will take you more time to prepare than it would take to buy some eggplant salad thing from the store. But trust me: It’s worth every minute.
This eggplant salad is.so.good. If you’re looking for an impressive appetizer for your Purim seudah, I vote for this.
You fry the eggplant, drain the extra oil, and saute the peppers. Then arrange the slices on your serving platter, mix up the marinade, and drizzle a bit over the eggplant.
Top with peppers, garnish with parsley, and drizzle a bit more marinade over the top. Then carefully cover with plastic wrap and even more carefully, transfer to the fridge.
Pray that if your curious (hungry) husband takes it out for a peek, he doesn’t tilt it and send the marinade to the floor.
Not that it happened here. I saw my husband spot the dish in the fridge, and I saved the marinade with my “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIT…!”
Because it’s important, you know. The eggplant soaks up that flavor like a sponge.
The most delicious sponge you’ve ever met.
Slightly adapted from Gatherings
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 large eggplant, sliced about an inch thick (maybe a little less)
- canola oil, for frying
- 1 small yellow pepper, diced
- 1 small green pepper, diced
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- a handful or two of fresh parsley
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ cup vinegar
- 2 Tbsp dry red wine (use the real thing, not cooking wine)
- 1½ tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
1. Salt the eggplant slices and place them in a colander (it’s fine to layer them). Place the colander resting over the sink and stick a stack of plates on top of the eggplant to help press out the natural bitter juices. Leave it like this for 30 minutes.
2. Gently rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry with a lint-free towel. Fry in canola oil until nicely browned on both sides, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain extra oil.
3. Arrange eggplant in a serving platter with sides that come up a bit. (You don’t want something that’s completely level, or the marinade will drip out).
4. Saute the peppers in a touch of canola. While they do their thing, whisk together garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, red wine, basil, and thyme in a container/bowl/large measuring glass. Drizzle a bit of the marniade over the eggplant.
5. Top the eggplant with spoonfuls of sauteed peppers and garnish with fresh parsley. Drizzle some more marinade over the top, cover, and chill 24 hours before serving. Can be served cold or room temp.