Cooked Eggplant, Tomato and Pepper Salad
The three stars of Balkan cuisine—eggplant, tomatoes and peppers—form a fantastic stew-y salad together. When my mom makes it, I eat it straight from the pan, still warm, with a spoon.
- 2 medium eggplants, cut into ½-inch slices
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium red pepper, cut into ½-inch slices
- 1 medium green pepper, cut into ¼-inch slices
- 6 medium tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- Scant ½ cup tomato paste
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup mineral or filtered water
- 1 heaping teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Prepare eggplant: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange eggplant slices on baking sheets and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil (save the rest for the salad) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until eggplant slices are golden, about 30 minutes.
- Make sauce: Heat a large pot or deep pan over medium heat. Add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and peppers and pan fry until peppers shimmer, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, water and sugar. Season with paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick.
- Cook eggplant in sauce: Add roasted eggplant slices to sauce, stir and cook for about 5 minutes to let flavors meld. Taste and season.
- Serve hot or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Reprinted with permission from My Balkan Kitchen by Shaily Lipa (Al Hashulchan, 2014) (in Hebrew). Translated by Merav Levkowitz.