Saturday, July 18, 2009

Romanian eggplant salad

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This salad has always been my favourite. I could eat tones of the stuff. When I was little, and someone used to ask me what was my favourite dish, I would always answer eggplant salad!

This salad is ment to be an appetizer, but I would eat it as maindish and dessert all together!Since I came to Sweden I haven't eaten it, and I really miss it. I once bought from the supermarket a can with eggplant salad, but it was so groce.. I tried to add chopped onion and mayo, but it was no good and I tossed it immediatelly. And I decided I should call my mom and ask her exactly what I need and how was she doing it for me when I was little so I can reproduce it and make my little dream come true!

I used:
- 2 eggplants
- sunflower oil
- 1 onion
- lemon juice
- salt

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The eggplants need to be roasted on the stove, on open flame. But as I have an electrical stove, I actually grilled them, until the insides became very soft.

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After I removed them from the grill, I skinned them. It's good, and it may help to have a little bowl with cold water in which you can dip the fingers, so you don't burn yourselves :)

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I cut the tail and removed part of the seeds (not all), the ones that just fall of, sort to speak. They need to be very well drained before you start working with them. Cut them in half and put them on a plate or a cuttingboard and let the juices drain for about 2 hours.

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After they are completly drained (if not, those juices can make them bitter) I mashed them with a wooden knife. If you don't have a wooden knife, use a wooden spatula or a plastic one. It is important not to be inox or iron, because they get bitter as well :)

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I put them in a bowl, added about 2 tbs of salt and some lemon juice. From this point on, you have to do it like you do with mayo. Pour the sunfloweroil little by little, stirring continuously, with a wooden spoon, until it becomes like a paste, it changes a bit the colour and it almost doubles the volume. The quantity of oil is entirely up to you.

In the end I added fine chopped onion and salt (if needed).

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In the romanian traditional style we serve them with tomatoes, mayonese and/or pepper salad. And bread! It's delicious, I don't know one person that doesn't like this one! :)

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15 comments:

  1. This is a unique way of cooking with eggplant. I've never tried mashing it before but this looks just as nice.

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  2. oh gosh, that sounds interesting.
    I love eggplant !!

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  3. Wow,I cant wait to try this!Your photos are amazing,they look delicious! I followed you from the foodieblogroll and I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set, Thanks!

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  4. Thank you all for the nice words :) It is indeed one of my favourite dishes, if I can say so, and I highly recommend it! It's part of the east southern european culinary tradition, and especially romanian :)

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  5. @alisa I'm really happy that you liked it :) The widget is up and thank you too :)

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  6. My Romanian grandmother made this dish, then my father (her son), and now the third generation prepares it for any and all holidays. We call it Potlagica (unsure of the origin of that word), and mix in sliced radishes, diced tomatoes, a little diced green pepper and serve chilled on rye bread. Can't get enough!!

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  7. I've been eating this dish since I was a youngster, 60 years ago and, making it for the past 50 years. I love Fifi's mention of calling it Potlagica - I remember it being called something similar - pot le jele - ?? I never drain the juices, use very little grated onion and good flaxseed oil, or omega 3,6,9. It is also good with red onion. I leave the aubergines to get cold before I remove skins. Like Poppy I can eat tons of it - lovely website Poppy. Jan (London U.K.)

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  8. @ Fifi & Jan: pătlăgeá (pătlăgéle)- apparently, the origins of the word are in the Balkans(ngr. παπλιζάνα, ab., bg., sb. patliğan). Mind you, the same word may describe in some areas of Romania the tomatoes, and not the aubergines/ egg-plant.

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  9. just like my father did it ...back i 1970...... i can remember it ... funny just like you have wrote it. He said ....do not use metal... :-)

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  10. i have a electric stove and no grill. Any suggestion? Also can I just use vegetable oil instead of sunflower oil?

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  11. I have an electric hob as well but I just put the aubergine straight on the ring and it worked fine, just be careful not to burn your fingers. I also have a grill pan but never thought of using it! Next time will use that as I too am obsessed with this salad, strangely my english husband does not like it but he loves polenta and all romanian dishes! I think british people are not so used to cold dishes for breakfast, like these salads (vinete, icre) or cold meats. I am used to having salami for breakfast whilst my husband prefers hot porridge!

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  12. Hello, Poppy, I like your name a lot! :) My name is Irina and I have recently written a review of two Romanian restaurants in London. Both of them serve eggplant salad among their choices of appetizers and I placed a link to your recipe in the original post. I thought it was well-written and presented and hope that our readers will follow it step by step if they choose to cook this dish! The entire article is here if you want to have a look at it - http://bit.ly/QrGffF. Congratulations on the blog! When did you start it and what motivated you to do so? Take care, Irina xoxo

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  13. I ate this as a kid. I am a 2nd gen Romanian. I add a bag of chopped fresh garlic. You can find this is in the produce section. I like to use olive oil. Tastes better. Pepper too. Great with warm pita bread.

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