Azerbaijani Eggplant Salad

Azerbaijani Eggplant Salad

“How To Make ‘Eggplant Caviar’” via Tablet


2 medium eggplants
4 to 5 small tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 bunch cilantro or parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon harissa
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


    1. Turn the broiler on low (500 degrees), placing the top rack 8 inches away from the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

    2. Cut the eggplants in half and put the cut side down on the baking sheet with the tomatoes and peppers. Grill until soft and blackened, checking every few minutes until the eggplants and peppers are charred, up to 25 minutes.

    3. Put the eggplants in a colander set over the sink to drain and set the tomatoes aside to cool, and put the peppers in a paper bag to easily remove the skins. Drain the excess juice off the vegetables and peel them. Seed the tomatoes and peppers, and cut one of the peppers into strips.

    2. Roughly chop all the vegetables except the pepper strips with a chopper, or pulse in a food processor briefly—texture is key. Stir in the garlic, all but a few tablespoons of the cilantro or parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lemon juice if the flavors need brightening. Add harissa. Top with pepper strips, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro or parsley, and serve with warm pita or bread on the side.

    Yield: 6 to 8 servings