Another refreshing smoked eggplant salad from southern Turkey, Antakya, this time with garlic yoghurt and mint. It goes very well with grilled meats, or just with some nice crusty bread as an appetizer. If you can cook the eggplants over open fire or on stove top, eggplants get a delicious, smoky flavor.
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes
1 large or 2 medium eggplant (aubergine)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
About 200 ml/ 7 fl oz/1 cup plain yoghurt
5 ml/ 1 teaspoon dried mint
15 ml/ 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze of a quarter of lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200 C/ 400 F
Cook the eggplants (aubergines) on a barbecue grill or over and open gas flame turning occasionally by the stalks until the outer skin is charred and blistered and the inner flesh soft. (Alternatively they can be pricked in few places and baked in a hot oven for about 45 minutes). Peel away the burnt skin and discard the stalks. Put the flesh in a colander to drain away any bitter juices. (You can prepare the eggplants this way a day in advance; squeeze lemon juice over to retain its color and keep in the fridge covered). Finely chop the flesh and set aside.
Combine the yoghurt, flesh of eggplant, garlic, salt, black pepper and the dried mint in a mixing bowl. Transfer the mixture to a serving dish, sprinkle a little more dried mint and drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over.
This delicious meze and over 90 authentic recipes from my homeland are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table; signed copies available at this link (it is 25 % off), delivered worldwide including the US and Canada.
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What a refreshing and no-nonsense recipe for charred eggplant salad! Very close to what we do at home. I will try your way with mint, sounds very tasty.
I have a question. My mum was insisting that I handle and process the roasted eggplant only with wooden or marble pestle and she was insisting that the taste of the eggplant’s flesh will be very bitter if prepared with any metal utensils. I wonder if this is true or only “old wives tales”?
Merhaba Sophia, many thanks for your kind note; I have always used metal tongs to handle the chargrilled eggplants; once I got rid of the skin and gently got rid of the juices, I chop with knife or mash with fork. It always has a wonderful taste and works well. Bitterness of the eggplant comes when the bitter juices are not drained and if the eggplant has really large seeds in it. Hope this helps : )