Smoked aubergine/eggplant salad with garlic yoghurt and dried mint – Patlicanli Yogurtlama
This salad from Antakya in southern Turkey features our beloved patlican, aubergine/eggplant. Traditionally, aubergine/eggplant is cooked over an open fire. To get the smoky flavour at home, you can cook the aubergine/eggplant over a burner or on the barbeque. This dish can be served as part of a meze spread or as a side dish with grilled meats and vegetables. The dried mint adds a delicious, refreshing flavour to the salad.
1 medium aubergine/ eggplant
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
240ml/8fl oz plain (preferably whole milk) yoghurt
5ml/1 teaspoon dried mint
15ml/1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a wide heavy pan and sauté the grated carrots for 3-4 minutes, until they are about to soften up, but still a little crunchy. Turn the heat off and leave them aside to cool. In the meantime, stir in the chopped garlic into a large bowl of yoghurt. When cooled, combine the sautéed carrots into the yoghurt bowl and give a good mix. Stir in the chopped parsley and season with salt and ground black pepper, combine well.
Puncture the aubergine/eggplant in 3-4 places and cook on a barbecue grill or over a burner. Using a tong, turn occasionally by the stalks until the outer skin is charred and blistered and the inner flesh is soft (If you rather prefer not to have the smoky flavour, the aubergine/eggplant can be baked in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 for about 40 minutes, please turn half way for both sides of the aubergine/eggplant to cook evenly). Carefully place the cooked aubergine/eggplant in a colander, using a tong. When it is cool enough to handle, peel away the burnt skin and discard the stalk. Put the flesh in a colander and gently squeeze to drain away any bitter juices. Place the flesh on a chopping board and chop and mash roughly. Transfer the flesh into a plate and pour lemon juice over to retain its colour, mix well. Cover and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to make the salad (you can prepare the aubergine/eggplant this way a day in advance if you like).
When you are ready to make the salad, take out the cooked aubergine/eggplant from the fridge. Combine the cooked aubergine/eggplant flesh with yoghurt, garlic, salt, ground black pepper and the dried mint in a mixing bowl. Transfer the mixture to a serving dish, sprinkle a little more dried mint and drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over. Serve as part of the meze spread or as an accompaniment to grills and kebabs.
Source: Ozlem’s Turkish Table