Almost Turkish Recipes

Roasted Eggplant Purée with Yogurt (Yoğurtlu Patlıcan Salatası)

Eggplants... we love them. We cook them in any way imaginable; we bake them, dry them, fry them, pickle them, purée them, roast them, split them, stew them, stir-fry them, stuff them, and even jam them--true story!

This side dish/salad/appetizer is a summer favorite and one of the easiest eggplant dishes to make. It is readily available at any meyhane/tavern/pub where they serve rakı, anise-flavored brandy. There are some rules associated with rakı culture and to have at least one type of eggplant salad/meze is one of them. At homes eggplant salad is usually prepared during mangal, i.e., barbecue. First eggplants are roasted and while the meats are grilled, purée is made.

Although in Turkish it is called salad, it is consumed either as a spread over slices of baguettes or as a dip for which bread morsels become scoops.

This recipe is one of the many variations of the classic eggplant purée which could be found across Mediterranean. For the classic purée simply skip the yogurt.

(1 big American eggplant makes 1 cup eggplant purée when roasted. You can decide how many eggplants to roast)

There's nothing written in stone. You can use more or less of everything.

1 big eggplant
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
~1/2 cup strained/Greek yogurt
1 clove of garlic, minced or smashed
1 tbsp parley or mint, finely chopped

-Prick the eggplant(s) a couple of times with a knife so they won't explode. On medium to high grill roast them until skin is charred and flesh completely soft. OR roast them in a pre-heated hot oven of 450F for 40-50 minutes.
-When cool enough to handle, peel the skin and mash the flesh well with the back of a fork. (Some people take the seeds out as well, but I leave them.)
-Mix in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and yogurt.
-Salt to taste.
-Garnish with parsley or mint.

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