I first tasted this salad/side dish at a bris that a friend made at home, and I literally finished what was on my side of the table! I got the recipe a few days later, and I
- eggplants - 4 large , washed, unpeeled, and cubed
- coarse salt -
- oil -
- onions - 2 , diced large
- garlic cloves - 5 (or to taste), minced
- red peppers - 2, diced
- water - 2-3 (even 3 1/2) cups
- tomato paste - 1 large can (optional, substitue with one small can tomato paste + 1 small can water)
- salt - 1 tsp (or to taste)
- cane or light brown sugar - 3 tsp
- flour - 1-2 tsp
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
Spread the eggplant cubes evenly on two baking trays. Sprinkle them with coarse salt, and let them sit 30 minutes. (This salting draws out bitter juices and excess moisture.)
Place the eggplant in a colander and rinse; then pour out onto a towel, and pat dry. Return the eggplant to the trays (line with parchment paper), and toss with a drop of oil, mixing thoroughly. Bake the eggplant approximately half an hour, until it’s soft and brownish. Switch trays in the middle.
Meanwhile, in a 5–6-quart/liter saucepan, heat some oil over a medium-high flame, and saut. the onions, garlic, and peppers until they’re soft and golden. Add the water, tomato paste, salt, sugar, and flour. Bring this to a boil, and simmer 30 minutes, covered. Add the eggplant, and cook another 30 minutes.
This dish tastes best at room temperature or even straight from the fridge.
NOTE: This dish freezes beautifully. Freeze in plastic containers, and use at your convenience. Tastes yummy with meat, chicken, or fish. Vary the amounts of water/ tomato paste to make it however thick and tomatoey you like.
Photography by Daniel Lailah
Food Styling by Michal Lebowitz
This recipe originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.