Eggplant Salad Vinetta  

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Vinettou is back with a vengeance, this time with his superhero S.O., Vinetta. I feel like having an eggplant salad, especially since the two eggplants I bought a while back have started to turn bad in my fridge, so I decided to investigate easy recipes.

Here’s what wikipedia tells us:

Salata de vinete (Eggplant salad) or Vinetta is both a Romanian and Hungarian mashed eggplant salad made of grilled, peeled and finely chopped eggplants, sunflower oil and chopped onions. The eggplants are grilled until they are covered with black ash crust. The crust is cleaned off and the remaining cooked eggplant is mashed with a blunt, thick wooden knife on a wooden platter (popular belief has it that using a metal knife will turn the eggplant flesh black). The eggplant mash is mixed in a bowl, stirring continuously, with sunflower oil, chopped onions and salt. The mix is beaten vigorously. Crushed garlic and ground pepper may be added too. Instead of oil, mayonnaise can be used.

In Bulgaria a typical eggplant appetizer is kyopolou, it is made with roasted aubergines and red peppers.

In Russia and Ukraine, a category of similar dishes is known as baklažannaja ikra (Russian: ??????????? ????, literally "eggplant pâté" (Note that "ikra" in this context means "puree", mashed "ragout" or "pâté" rather than the homonym "caviar") and some versions add chopped tomatoes to the basic recipe. Another eggplant salad popular in Russia is called he iz baklažanov (Russian: ?? ?? ??????????, and it is probably influenced by Korean cuisine). Eggplant he is based on julienned (instead of mashed) cooked aubergines and other vegetables, prepared with concentrated vinegar. After adding the vinegar, it is set aside for several hours to cure before eating.


Baba ghanoush is a popular Levantine dish of eggplant (aubergine) mashed and mixed with various seasonings. Frequently the eggplant is baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste. Baba ghanoush is usually eaten as a dip with pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is usually of an earthy light brown color.

The Greeks call it melitzanosalata. Anyway, after watching the videos above and researching some more, a few other “additives” seem to be used:

  1. onions, garlic, tomatoes
  2. roasted peppers, especially in Bulgaria
  3. lemon, sometimes tahini and cumin (the latter in Armenia)
  4. either mayonnaise or olive oil in Mediterranean as well as elsewhere
  5. capers in Sicily
  6. India: cilantro, chilli pepper, mustard oil

aubergine and its caviarHere’s the traditional Romanian recipe:

  • 1 kg / about 2-3 medium to large eggplants
  • 1 large onion
  • 50 mL / 3 tbsp of olive oil (sunflower in original)
  • salt & peppa

The eggplants are grilled usually on a hot plate on the gas oven, turning them on each side untile they are black. The crust is then peeled off (one way to do this is to cut longitudinally and the inside razed off inside a bowl) and the juice is pressed off for 2-3 hours as it is sour and thus undesirable. The eggplants are then mashed with a thick wooden knife on a wooden platter to prevent oxidation and then mixed in a bowl, stirring continuously, with sunflower oil, chopped onions and salt. If that’s your poison, here are a few tips:

  • if you want it creamier and whiter add milk or sour cream before mashing it
  • their juice has a sour taste, so you must remove as much as possible
  • adding an egg yellow may further mask that sour taste
  • consider adding zucchini and garlic for better taste
  • instead of hot platter they can be placed in the oven for about 45 min at 200C
  • add the juice of half a lemon or 2 tbsp of vinegar to better prevent oxidation

If you would rather do this fast, you might want to peel them off when raw, cut them in little cubes, spray them with the lemon juice and sprinkle a tsp of salt. Brown them in oil for 4-5 min then add 100 mL of water and boil on medium heat, covered, until the water is gone. Mix them up in a blender with oil and the onion and you’re done!

LE: A recipe I meant to include but forgot is the so-called icra or aubergine caviar mentioned in harald si dorel. It takes 35 min and contains:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds eggplant
  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 2/3 cup yogurt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Oil the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. Place them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. Roast until soft, about 20 minutes. Peel eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. Saute minced onions and garlic. Put mixture in food processor and add garlic-onion mixture, vinegar, orange juice, coriander, olive oil, yogurt and salt and pepper. Fold in chopped parsley.

And if you would want a similarly creamy and refreshing drink when you’re done with the “Vinetta”, I’d recommend the Avocado-Citrus smoothie. Yes, it will make you fat with 1 avocado, one orange, some milk and honey – to which I add lots of ice cubes – but it’s the “good” kind of fat! Striaght FacePeace Sign

Sources / More info: wiki-eggplant, nicuvar-doina, ele, e-retete, fn-aubergine-caviar

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