Sunday, April 12, 2009

Salata de vinete, variation

A while ago, I made the claim that when it came to eggplant salad, the roasted eggplants had to be mixed with raw onions "or else." This was not as reckless a statement as it might seem, seeing as, at the time, I had spent almost twenty-nine years on this earth, most of them eating salata de vinete, and in all these years, I had never liked anything as much as eggplant salad with chopped, raw onions.

Imagine the shock I had a few months ago when I tasted an eggplant salad that did not, indeed, have raw onions, and lo, I found it good. Yea, even better than the eggplant salad of yore. So, this week, when my fridge broke down and I had to do something with the now-melted roasted eggplant I had stowed away in my freezer, I decided to try something similar: I lightly fried the chopped onion in the oil until it was translucent, and then added all of it to the eggplant.

The result is salata de vinete that you can eat for breakfast without worrying about your breath. (Though, I had it for lunch with raw green onions dipped in salt, but that just meant I was able to consume two kinds of onions rather than one!) It is also, and this should be noted as a possible strategic error, a salata de vinete that my boyfriend seems to enjoy more, and eat more eagerly, than the raw onion variety.


Note that it is also possible to mix a raw egg into this to make it even more creamy. I'm too scared of salmonella to do this myself, though by some magical effect, I'm not too scared of it to eat the result when someone else has mixed raw egg into a recipe.

9 comments:

Yulinka said...

That looks like what Russians call eggplant caviar! I love raw onions, too, especially scallions.

irina said...

Raw onions are the best. It's funny: as much as everyone, oh, west of us hates raw onions, it seems to be pretty common east of us. I've had raw onion (like, half a raw onion) served to me in an Iranian restaurant, and I've discovered that if you ask Indian waiters for raw onion, they'll bring you a small plate with delicately sliced onion which has been sprinkled with cumin and paprika. It's really nice. It's the kind of thing they'll never put on a menu, but they'll bring it to you if you ask.

Roxi said...

Myself, just like you love vinete. I also like the raw onions in it and top it with a tomato. i think it needs the onion for a little punch. Nice blog. I am romanian too and love cooking it for my husband.

foodista said...

I personally do not like this salad with onions or garlic already mixed in (my dad's way). Just simple and sweet, with a dash of salt, and fresh tomato slices, and, perhaps, onions, on the side.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness! I grew up eating this (with the raw egg). My grandparents are from hungary, although they´re all romanian by blood, from Transylvania. I´m definitely trying it with cooked onions, ve always made it with raw to! So glad I found your blog! I decided long ago that I wanted to learn more about the land of my ancestors! Hungarian I speak, but not romanian, I will learn however! Thank you so much for this blog!

atisheh said...

Hungarian/Romanian Unknown: thank you for your comment! I'm pretty bad at updating regularly, but will try to do so more often once the school year is over.

23 Skidoo said...

My great grandmother from Romania made this but she also roasted a bell pepper which was then peeled and chopped in with the roasted eggplant and raw onion. I have not seen any recipes online that call for bell pepper but maybe she just liked it that way!

i said...

23 Skidoo, that sounds like it's going in the direction of zacusca, for which I posted a recipe here:

http://cookingromanian.blogspot.com/2008/10/zacusca-vegetable-spread.html

Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

when i cook eggplant salad i add mayonese...you should try it also!