Aubergine salad is a classic of the Turkish meze table. Patlıcan Salatası (pron: putt-ler-jun) or Ezmesi /purée . A in Turkish is pronounced u like in umbrella and c is j. You will be served it everywhere: in restaurants and in private homes. And in my home.
If I do seem to be having a bit of an aubergine fest these days, forgive me but living out here in our village, meals are 100% dependent on what’s available at the market. Right now it’s the height of the season and it’s aubergines and tomatoes plus peppers, both red and green, – and more aubergines and tomatoes! If you don’t do something with these, you will starve!
In the recent recipe for Ali Nazik, I grilled the aubergines over the gas flame on top of the oven. You can also bake them inside the oven if you prefer: less mess but the taste won’t be so good. Make sure you slit them otherwise they may explode and then you really will have a huge mess on your hands. By far and away the best method of grilling aubergines is on the barbecue: easy as you just throw them on while your meat is cooking, and the flesh acquires a delicious smoky taste, the mark of an authentic patlıcan salatası. If you have a Turkish husband, he will love you forever if you do it like this.
· When cool enough to handle, strip off the blackened skin. Roughly chop the soft inner flesh and put in a colander, allowing any bitter juices to drain away.
· In a bowl, combine the aubergine, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and yogurt. Season with salt and pepper and mash into the consistency of a purée. You could use the food processor if you prefer a smoother consistency. Refrigerate until required but ideally serve at room temperature.
I have used Angie Mitchell’s recipe from Secrets of the Turkish Kitchen but basically the ingredients of this salad are to taste: add more garlic or lemon juice if you like, or an extra spoonful of yogurt, it really doesn’t matter.
If you leave out the yogurt, you can ring the changes by adding a little chopped tomato,onion, and parsley.
Why don’t you try this meze? It’s easy!