Aubergine Tomato Bread Salad

I have made this delicious dish on many occasions. Especially in the hot MidAtlantic summer of 2007, when the Eggplant kept coming for about 3 months! Yesterday I made it for a Eurovision song contest get together with our neighbours. Hmmm, the aubergines come quite early in Eastern Europe. Well, I don’t know where they came from, beyond our nice little greengrocer on Winsstrasse.

I used to have a recipe, I’m sure I did. Every time I want to make the salad, I search through folders and recipe books and the internet to try to find it. I never find it. I find similar things, but nothing that is quite like this. In the end, I make it from memory.

Now, my neighbour asked me for the recipe. So I wrote it out long-hand, and hope to find my own notes again in future. Sorry, there are no photos!

Aubergine Tomato Bread Salad

Total time needed – about 2 hours.
Preparation time – about 20 minutes.

2 or 3 decent sized aubergines
400g tin of tomatoes
Salt (enough to salt the aubergines)
Fresh Mint
Fresh Parsley (flat leaf, chopped)
Two onions (chopped but not too well)
A few Pita Breads
Rice vinegar
Garlic cloves (crushed/ chopped)

Cut the aubergines into 1-2 cm cubes. Place the cubes in a colander and salt liberally. It helps to do this in layers. Press down the dome of aubergine with something heavy. Leave for 30 to 60 mins.

In the meantime, chop the onions and garlic and sauté them over a medium heat in a large pan with a heavy base until very soft and golden brown. This process will take about 15 minutes.

Squeeze the aubergines enthusiastically. The more liquid you can get out now, the faster they will cook, and the more exquisite their texture will become.

Dump the aubergines in your large pan with the onions and fry them. You can up the heat a bit.

When the aubergines are getting cooked, you can add the vinegar, about 2/3 of the tin of tomatoes, the chopped parsley, and the sugar to taste.

You can also add salt and pepper to taste. You won’t need much salt because of the salting of the aubergines.

Whilst the aubergine mix is simmering, grill the pitas quite well, until they are well browned and crispy. Cut them up into pieces.

When the cooking is done, you can pop the mixture into a bowl with some chopped mint. The salad can be refrigerated at this point to speed up the cooling (you could cool the bowl in advance). Save some mint leaves for garnish.

Add the bread pieces and mix.

This dish can be served whilst still warm, or left to cool. The flavours will probably intensify overnight.


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