Romanian Salata de Venete

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  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 to 3 medium chiles
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the eggplant, peppers and chiles on a baking sheet, and put on a middle rack for 40 to 60 minutes, turning halfway through.

While waiting for the eggplant, peppers and chiles to roast, dice the onion and crush the garlic.

After you take the eggplant, peppers and chiles out of the oven, place the peppers and chiles into double-bagged small lunch bags for about 15 minutes.

While waiting for the peppers and chiles to sweat their skins off, rinse the eggplant in cold water and peel its skin off. Dice the eggplant.

Once the peppers are done sweating, remove the outermost layer of skin from each pepper. Dice the peppers.

Combine the onions, garlic, eggplant, peppers and chiles in a bowl that has a tight cover.

Combine the oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well. Stir the dressing into the salad.

Cover the container, and chill in the fridge overnight.

Serves: Makes over a pint. Serve with crackers or pita bread.

Preparation time: About 120 minutes, prepared a day in advance