Romanian Eggplant Salad and Red Pepper Oil

Romanian Eggplant Salad

It is July and still a great time to use your grill. With the eggplant recipe this month you can do that while also grilling another item of your choice. The red pepper oil provides a great complimentary item to the eggplant.

Romanian Eggplant Salad

Effort: Easy
Serves 2-4

Ingredients
1 large ripe eggplant
1/2 to 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt to taste

Directions

Heat your barbecue grill to high. Meanwhile, with a fork or small knife, prick all sides of the eggplant. Place the eggplant on the grill, reduce the heat to medium, close the cover and grill for about half an hour (turning it frequently until it is charred, and the skin is oozing). While it is grilling, fill a large bowl with iced water. Once cooked remove the eggplant from the grill using tongs and place immediately into the bowl with iced water. Let it sit for about 15 minutes to cool off. Gently peel off the charred skin (use rubber gloves if you wish), cut the top and stem off and place flesh into a food processor*.  Add the olive oil and lemon juice then pulse once or twice – it should be lumpy! Using a spatula, pour mixture into a bowl and add salt to taste. Refrigerate or use immediately. Great as a dip, or alongside any meat or vegetarian dish.

*Alternate method: Place the flesh into a bowl and mash with a potato masher instead of a food processor.

Red Pepper Oil

Time: 20 mins for prep, 1 hour (min) to let it sit
Effort: Easy

Ingredients
3 to 4 whole red peppers
4 cups iced water
1 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove finely minced
Salt to taste
1 tsp crushed chili peppers (optional)

Directions

Grill peppers on all sides so they are almost charred. You can do them on a barbecue grill, or in your oven on broil. Be careful though and turn them frequently. When done, soak them for a few minutes in a large bowl with iced water – this will cool them off and loosen the skin. Over another medium sized bowl, skin the peppers and remove the core with seeds as well as the stem. With your hands, break them up into pieces – small or large. Add olive oil, garlic, salt and chili pepper, then blend. Let dish sit for at least an hour. You may also pour the mixture into mason jars for use another time. As a variation to this recipe you may add 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar or herbs of your liking.

This is a great condiment for any grilled meat or poultry – or try serving it alone as a dip for a fresh baguette!

 

Recipes used with permission from Jump Into My Kitchen.