Today I’m sharing eggplant salad.
It’s summer in Dubai, which means the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven. With a temperature feel of 110° F, the thought of adding anymore heat into the air feels like something only a mad person would do. Cue: an endless amount of salads.
This eggplant salad is far from your average, boring salad. You start by frying the eggplant, giving it silky, creamy texture, and making this side dish just a bit more indulgent. You then combine it with scallions, parsley, tomatoes and bell peppers, using up all that delicious summer produce. It’s dressed with zesty lemon juice and pomegranate molasses, earthy cumin and fruity Aleppo pepper.
If you’re in a part of the world where it’s grill season, this holds up deliciously next to a plate of grilled meat. If you’re in a place (like me) where you won’t be spending anymore time outside than you have to, serve this next to a leafy salad and some grains, and you have yourself a cold, refreshing, well-rounded meal.
Like most Middle Eastern dishes, the seasoning measurements are up to your personal preference. I included the quantity I used, but your ratios may vary based on your palate, acidity of pomegranate molasses, freshness of spices, etc. Start with a smaller amount and add more as you see fit.
I hope you give this a try! If you do, don’t forget to put it in the comments and tag @omayahatassi and #omayahcooks on Instagram. I love to see your creations!
This beautiful dish of summer produce holds up nicely to grilled meat, or pair it with a leafy salad and grains to make a nice, balanced and refereshing vegetarian meal.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
1 kg (2 lbs) small eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
15-20 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 mixed bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 scallions, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 c chopped parsley (about 1-2 bunches)
1.5 tsp Aleppo pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
Juice from 1 lemon
5 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (or to taste)
2 c vegetable oil
- Pour enough vegetable oil in a stockpot to cover the bottom by 1.5 inches, about 2 cups, but may be more. Heat until it reaches 375° F, or until a piece of bread is dropped in and begins frying immediately. Fry the eggplant in batches until golden, about 2-4 minutes, transferring to a colander set over a bowl. Drain and allow to cool.
- Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl. Add the vegetables and half of the seasoning, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Toss gently with two spoons, being mindful to retain the eggplant's shape. Taste and add more seasoning as necessary.
- Can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead and placed in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.