Grilled eggplant and bell pepper salad is a wonderful recipe to make all year long when you have eggplants and peppers available. Perfect as appetizer, or a snack served on slices of good crusty bread, this salad makes a handsome option for entertaining.
Grilled eggplant salad is a very popular recipe in the Romanian cuisine.
Especially in the summer, when eggplants are in season, or in the winter, if you cared enough to grill some and freeze in batches, this salad is wonderful to make and serve as an appetizer with some crusty bread.
However, the combination of grilled eggplant and roasted peppers was new to me, until few years ago when a friend of mine who lives in Romania went on vacation to Greece and brought this recipe with her.
I was invited to her house where she put together an amazing meal with recipes inspired from her trip.(Read more about this here)
How To Cook Eggplants:
There are different ways to cook the eggplants. I used them all and they all work. It all depends on whatever your possibilities are and the time of year.
However, each method has an effect on the taste of the eggplant salad that you will, for sure, notice. Here is a guide on how to cook eggplants, so you can make this salad.
Note: You could process the eggplants in the food processor, the salad will then have more like a spread texture, which is delicious but not very authentic.
I prefer to chop the salad rather roughly, so that I have something to chew here and there, but the degree of chopping is totally up to you.
HOW TO GRILL PEPPERS:
Peppers are best roasted directly on an open fire. A wood grill is the perfect way to do it, but directly on a gas fire stove is perfectly acceptable. Grill them until the skin is black and blistered. Remove them, let them cool a little bit so you can handle them, then peel off the skin and place them on a plate.
Use a little bit of water to wash your hands while you peel the peppers.
It makes your life easier.
Remove the seeds and cut the peppers in thin slices or chop them small, as you like.
NOTE: This salad can be easily made using roasted peppers you buy in the jar at the store.
Mix them with the chopped eggplant, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Here you have a wonderful salad that is handsome, delicious and not very difficult to make. This is the salad that my friend made while I was visiting.
And this is the one I made. I left the eggplant chunkier for more texture, while she preferred to chop it smoother. You can try both versions and see which one you like better.
Serve this salad with crusty bread (here you have a homemade recipe you can try- I make this bread at least once a week),
grilled meats, or a platter of cheese and cold cuts and you should be prepared to impress your guests.
What do you think? Are you going to try it? Drop a note and let me know.
- 3-4 big eggplants
- 2-3 red bell peppers medium size(or roasted peppers from the jar)
- 1 medium onion or 2-3 green onions chopped finely
- 1 bunch fresh chopped parsley
- 1-2 medium garlic cloves minced
- 3-4 tablespoons sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- lemon juice to taste
See more detailed instructions on the blog about cooking the eggplant.
If you use a fire grill:
Bring the temperature of the grill between medium low to low. If it is too hot, the eggplants will burn on the outside before the inside is cooked. Pierce the eggplants in few places and grill them on each side, turning them regularly, until the skin is burned. Depending on their size, you should grill the eggplants somewhere between 20 to 40 minutes or until the skin is evenly charred and the eggplant collapses. The flesh should be really soft.
If you use a gas stove:
Lay some aluminum foil around the burners of the stove top to make sure that the liquid released by the eggplants won’t cause too much of a mess. Turn regularly with a pair of tongs making sure that the skin is burnt on all sides. Cook until the skin is evenly charred and the flesh of the eggplants very soft. Remove them from the fire and let them rest on a tray for few minutes before you start peeling the skin off.
If you use the oven:
Preheat oven at 400F/200C.
Place the eggplants on a baking tray lined with baking paper or tin foil and prick the eggplants with a fork several times .
Bake them for about 45 minutes or until the flesh of the eggplants is very soft.
How To Grill The Peppers:
Peppers are best roasted directly on an open fire. A wood grill is the perfect way to do it, but directly on a gas fire stove is perfectly acceptable. Grill them until the skin is black and blistered. Remove them from the stove, let them cool a little bit so you can handle them, then peel off the skin and place them on a plate. When cool, remove the seeds and the end and slice them thinly.
Making the eggplant and peppers salad:
After grilling, roasting or baking the eggplants allow them to cool, then carefully remove all the skin. Place the eggplants in a sieve and let drain for about half an hour to one hour. This step will remove the juice from the eggplant that is supposed to be bitter.
Chop with a special wooden/plastic knife made especially for this purpose or with a regular knife.
Place the eggplants in a bowl and add the red peppers, chopped onion, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and oil. Taste for salt. Mix well and serve chilled with grilled meats, salads, or other appetizers. Goes well as a snack, on a slice of good crusty bread.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 249Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 105mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 11gSugar: 16gProtein: 4g