Romanian roasted aubergine spread or salad. “Salata de vinete”.
There are not many salads that stand on their own when it comes to Romanian cooking. Most of them are eaten alongside the main course.
But some, like the potato salad, or this chicken egg and vegetables salad with mayo (Salata de boeuf) are usually served as one course, starter or main. This dish could be called a spread, although it’s called a salad, I never knew why.
- 600g aubergines
- 1 red or white onion
- salt and pepper
- sunflower oil
- mayonnaise (optional)
Roast the aubergines preferably on an open flame until the skin is well charred and the flesh soft to touch. They can also be roasted in an oven, but the nice charring taste that the flame brings won’t be there.
Peel and clean them, spread them on a wooden board at an angle and let them drain for a coupe of hours. Then using a wooden cleaver, or a stainless steel knife chop them well into almost a paste. How fine or how coarse you want it is up to you.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Should you want to use mayonnaise, just mix the mayo through very well. I prefer just oil, it’s a cleaner taste, the flavour of the aubergines comes through much nicer. So slowly pour in the oil and mix well to incorporate. Aubergines are “thirsty” for oil, they can absorb a huge quantity, but put as much as you like, taste as you go along.
Finally, chop the onion as fine as you can and either mix it through, sprinkle it on top, or serve it on the side, always with fresh bread, and nice ripe tomato, spring onions and fresh radishes.
Other popular recipes in this category:
- Best Romanian chicken paprikash with flour dumplings.
- Traditional cabbage rolls (sarmale) stuffed with minced pork and smoked meats.
- Chicken and noodles soup.