Eggplants – 2 whole large eggplants
Green Peppers – 2 medium size
Garlic – 6 cloves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons
Lemon Juice – 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed juice
Salt – ½ teaspoon
Black Pepper – to taste
Fresh Parsley – few springs
Eggplant – Eggplant is a nightshade plant that gives an edible fruit, also called eggplant. Eggplant, also known as Aubergine, originated in Asia, was introduced in Europe by Arab traders and is presently widely cultivated in the warm climates throughout the world. Eggplant has a high fiber content, an edible skin and a tender texture with small seeds in the center. It is oval shaped and is cultivated in a wide range of colors: black, purple, white and a variation of these colors. Eggplant is a flavorful and versatile vegetable used in many diverse dishes, such as Baba Ganoush, Kashk-e Bademjan, Caviar d’Aubergine and many others. Our featured recipe comes from our memory of the delicious Iranian cuisine served in a now closed restaurant in Bellevue, Washington, USA. The restaurant’s owner shared his family recipe that emphasizes fresh vegetables and herbs, few ingredients, and the preservation of natural flavors. In our recipe, we use medium size black Eggplants that require a longer roasting time. The roasted Eggplants and green peppers have a soft texture, a smoky flavor and a natural sweetness. The citrus juice, freshly minced garlic and extra virgin olive oil are added to the lightly mashed roasted eggplants and peppers. Our Persian Eggplant Salad is refreshing, healthy and flavorful. This simple salad tastes very well with fresh Iranian or Lebanese bread and grilled meats.
Step 1 – In the oven set at a high broil temperature, broil the whole eggplants and green peppers for one hour and a half. Remove the vegetables from the oven, cover tightly in foil and let it cool down.
Step 2 – Remove the skins and mash the vegetables into small chunks, using a potato masher or a fork.
Step 3 – Mince the garlic, chop the parsley, squeeze the lemon juice and measure the olive oil.
Step 4 – Combine all the ingredients and serve with fresh Iranian, Lebanese or pita bread.
Step 5 – Enjoy the smoky flavors of the Eggplant!