In the UK, we call them aubergines but a more common word for those plump, dark vegetables appears to be eggplant. As there are people from various parts of the world likely to be seeing this post, let's go with the more universal eggplant for this particular Turkish recipe.
Eggplants are difficult to escape in Turkish cuisineThink of any recipe you could create using eggplants and the chances are it's already an established dish in Turkish cuisine. There's even an eggplant jam! Turkey loves its eggplants and eggplant recipes have appeared previously on this blog: in October, we made Turkish musakka and last summer, we shared a hot weather favourite of ours; Ekşili Patlıcan (sour eggplant).
Today's Turkish recipe is another favourite - we've inevitably learnt to love eggplant over the years - especially in the searing Fethiye summer temperatures. These days, we're grazing rather than sitting down to big meals. The fridge is full of Turkish meze dishes that we can just dip into whenever we feel like it and this particular meze is sat in the fridge right now.
Patlıcan Salatası (Roasted Eggplant Salad)
Eggplant salads appear in most meze fridges in the restaurants of Turkey. They differ from restaurant to restaurant - and from region to region - but all use the same basic ingredients. This recipe is how we make patlıcan salatası. With regards to the ingredients, you can play around with the amounts you use because it's all about your personal taste.
Eggplants and peppers
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.
- Arrange your eggplants and a couple of red peppers on a baking tray and place in the oven for between 20 and 30 minutes - until the eggplants have softened. The smell in your kitchen will be amazing!
- Once roasted, remove the vegetables from the oven and leave to cool.
- Peel and deseed your red peppers, (the skin will peel off really easily) roughly chop them and add them to a bowl.
- Run your knife lengthways from top to bottom along the eggplant and allow it to fall open.
- Don't worry about getting every last one but remove the majority of the seeds by gently scraping a teaspoon through them while holding the stalk of the eggplant. Discard the seeds.
- Now scrape the rest of the flesh away from the skin, roughly chop and add to your peppers.
- Add a handful of chopped parsley.
- Now add salt, crushed garlic, olive oil and vinegar. I did 2 large cloves of garlic, maybe 3 or 4 dessert spoonfuls of olive oil and 2 or 3 dessert spoonfuls of vinegar but it's completely up to you. Just keep tasting it till you're happy with it. We love the tangy vinegar flavours and the strong garlic. Some people add lemon juice, too.
- Mix all the ingredients together and leave to chill in the fridge for a while.
- Once chilled, remove your patlıcan salatası from the fridge, lightly toast some bread and take them all outside.
- Sit in the sunshine, add a spoonful of patlıcan salatası to your toast...and just savour those flavours as you crunch through the crusty, toasted bread.