Romanian Eggplant Dip – Salată de Vinete
The eggplant is a common vegetable in Romania, and this delicious eggplant dip is one of the most popular appetizers that you’ll find in a Romanian’s house, sometimes all year long. I’m saying all year long because we like to cook the eggplants during summer, and freeze them to make this delicious dip any time we want.
You’ll find several versions of this Romanian eggplant dip if you look it up on the internet. You can find the vegan version, prepared with just two ingredients – cooked eggplants and sunflower oil, the second version which requires adding a raw egg yolk, and then mixing the eggplants with the yolk and some oil, and my favorite version and the one I’ll show you today, eggplant dip with fresh, homemade mayonnaise.
This Romanian eggplant dip is one of the appetizers that I despised when I was a child. My main problem used to be that my mom cooked the eggplants on the stove, placing them directly over the flames of the gas stove top. The smell invaded the entire house, and I couldn’t stand it at that time. I don’t remember which was the actual moment when I started to like eggplant dip, but now it’s one of my favorite starters, and my version is by far the best I’ve ever tried.
I’ve read several recipes to get this eggplant dip right, but the majority of food bloggers prefer to cook the eggplants in the oven. I always thought that the smokiness is the best part of the eggplant dip, so I took a chance and cooked the eggplants directly over the stove flames. It might sound a bit dangerous at first, but with a bit of patience and on low heat, you’ll see that it’s really easy and not as scary as it sounds.
Remember to place some strips of tin foil over the stove – roasting these eggplants over direct fire always gets messy ? but you gotta do what you gotta do, especially since you’ll love the result so much that you won’t even consider cooking the eggplants in the oven, ever.
The eggplants are cooked when the skin looks completely charred, and if you poke them, the pulp feels soft. Some people prefer to leave the eggplants on the stove for 5-10 minutes and then transfer them to the oven, but I like to roast them completely on the stove. They turn out amazing, with an extra-smoky flavor. We love to serve the eggplant dip on top of fresh bread with tomatoes, roasted pepper salad, and, of course, some Romanian cheese.
Every Romanian will tell you to use a wooden board and a wooden knife to chop the cooked eggplants. Supposedly using any instruments containing a certain kind of metal will make the eggplants oxidise and turn brown. I must say that I do not know the science behind this theory, but, just to be sure, I used a ceramics knife to chop the eggplants and a plastic colander to drain the eggplant liquid.
4 medium-sized eggplants
1 cooked egg yolk
1 raw egg yolk
1 teaspoon mustard
150 ml (2/3 cup) sunflower oil
juice from ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
- Prick each eggplant with a knife a few times, then place the eggplants directly on the flame of a gas stove. Turn them every few minutes, until the skin is completely charred, and the pulp feels soft and meets no resistance if you poke it with a knife. This buy nolvadex usa step should take about 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplants.
- Remove the eggplants from the heat and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Using a knife, split each eggplant vertically into two equal parts, and scrape out the pulp, making sure that you clean the bits of charred skin that attach to the pulp. I like to keep a bowl of water near me to clean my hands and pick the charred skin easier.
- After you have collected all the pulp, place it in a colander and let drain for at least 30 minutes.
- During this time, make the mayonnaise.
- In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix the cooked egg yolk with the raw egg yolk. Add the mustard, mix, and then start pouring the oil gradually, and mix well. Alternate the oil with some drops of lemon juice, while constantly mixing.
- After the eggplant pulp is drained, place it on a wooden board and finely chop it with a wooden or ceramic knife. The eggplants should now have the texture of a paste.
- In a bowl, add the eggplant paste, ½ finely chopped onion, 3 tablespoons of the homemade mayonnaise, plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine the ingredients using a wooden spoon, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Serve on top of fresh bread or toast, with tomato slices or a roast pepper salad, with some delicious Romanian telemea cheese.
Român? – Recipe in Romanian
4 vinete medii
1 g?lbenu? de ou fiert
1 g?lbenu? de ou crud
1 linguri?? de mu?tar
150 ml ulei de floarea-soarelui
Sucul de la ½ l?mâie
Sare ?i piper dup? gust
Mod de preparare
- Str?punge?i fiecare vân?t? cu un cu?it de câteva ori, apoi pune?i vinetele direct pe flac?ra aragazului, la foc mic. Întoarce?i-le la fiecare câteva minute, pân? când coaja este complet ars?, iar pulpa se simte moale ?i nu întâlne?te nicio rezisten?? dac? o în?ep?m cu un cu?it. Acest pas ar trebui s? dureze aproximativ 25-35 de minute, în func?ie de m?rimea vinetelor.
- Îndep?rta?i vinetele de pe foc ?i l?sa?i-le s? se r?ceasc? pentru câteva minute.
- Folosind un cu?it, t?ia?i fiecare vân?t? pe vertical? în dou? p?r?i egale ?i r?zui?i pulpa cu o lingur?, asigurându-v? c? a?i cur??at buc??ile de coaj? ars? lipite de pulp?. Eu prefer s? p?strez un castron cu ap? lâng? mine pentru a-mi cur??a mâinile ?i pentru a culege coaja ars? mai u?or.
- Dup? ce a?i colectat toat? pulpa, pune?i-o într-o strecur?toare (de plastic) ?i l?sa?i-o s? se scurg? timp de cel pu?in 30 de minute.
- În acest timp, face?i maioneza.
- Într-un castron mediu, folosind o furculi??, amesteca?i g?lbenu?ul fiert cu g?lbenu?ul de ou crud. Ad?uga?i mustarul, amesteca?i ?i apoi începe?i s? turna?i uleiul treptat, amestecând continuu. Alterna?i uleiul cu pic?turi de suc de l?mâie, amestecând în mod constant.
- Dup? ce pulpa de vinete a stat la scurs, a?eza?i-o pe un toc?tor de lemn ?i toca?i-o cu un cu?it din lemn sau ceramic?. Vinetele ar trebui s? aib? textura unei paste.
- Într-un castron, ad?uga?i pasta de vinete, 1/2 ceap? tocat? fin, 3 linguri de maionez? de cas?, sare ?i piper.
- Combina?i ingredientele cu o lingur? de lemn ?i apoi p?stra?i salata de vinete la frigider timp de cel pu?in 2 ore înainte de servire.
- Servi?i pe pâine proasp?t? sau pâine pr?jit?, cu felii de ro?ii si salat? de ardei cop?i, al?turi de niste brânz? telemea.