Spicy Eggplant Salad

Looking for a Kosher for Passover vegan dish that goes well with Maztah?  Well here it is, good for any time of year, with or without unleavened bread, as either an appetizer or side dish.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Extra-light olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 chopped jalapeno or other hot pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 oz can Hunt’s salt-free Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper or hot paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. silan (date syrup) or honey (optional)
  • 2 TB chopped fresh mint


Directions

  1. Peel eggplant, and slice crosswise into 1 1/2 inch thick pieces.  Sprinkle them with kosher salt and let stand for 15 minutes.  Rinse eggplants under cold water, which removes the bitter taste, rinse, and dry well on a towel.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet and lightly brown eggplant slices over moderate heat.  Remove and allow to cool, then cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Roast whole red pepper directly over gas flame on stovetop, or under broiler, turning frequently to char evenly on all sides.  Remove and allow to cool, then remove seeds and dice.
  4. In a saucepan, sauté chopped garlic and hot pepper in a bit of olive oil.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, bring to a simmer, then add spices.
  6. Simmer over low heat for a few minutes, long enough to integrate the flavours.  Taste and adjust seasoning, add silan if it needs sweetener.
  7. Add the mint, chopped pepper and eggplant to the sauce, stir and simmer over low heat for a few more minutes, long enough to integrate the flavours.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to use.  The salad can remain in the refrigerator for several days.
  9. Serve cold, or at room temperature, drizzled with EVOO and chopped parsley if you like that sort of thing.

Notes:

I got this recipe from a Canadian on a Listserv in 1997 and made it for the first time today (loosely followed of course).  The original was based on 3 eggplants, didn’t have the bell pepper or garlic, and included a lot more oil and cinnamon, and used dried mint instead of fresh.  This version is a bit closer to a Moroccan-Israeli style Matbucha with the roasted pepper, but still feels exotic with the combination of the cinnamon and the mint.

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