Escalivada

Spanish Eggplant Salad with Onions and Peppers

Preparation info

  • Serves

    6 to 8

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This salad is similar to the Moroccan salad, but it has roasted onions, roasted peppers, and, if you want, roasted tomatoes, too. It makes a wonderful sauce for sautéed chicken or a Spanish-inspired pasta. Although it is not authentic, we like to add some cumin to this salad occasionally. The Spanish do use cumin in many salads, and, besides, we like the taste combination.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 cup olive oil, plus additional for the onions
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 3 medium tomatoes (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Put the onions in a baking pan and rub them with a little olive oil. Roast until tender, at least 1 hour. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then peel and slice ½ inch thick.

    Prick the eggplants in several places with a fork and place them in a baking pan. Roast until soft but not mushy, about 45 minutes. Let cool, then peel and cut into 1½-inch cubes. Place in a colander to drain. Escalivar (in Catalan) means to grill, so, if you like the smoky flavor, you may grill the eggplant instead of roasting it in the oven.

    Char the peppers over an open flame or under the broiler until blackened on all sides. Transfer to a plastic container with a lid or a paper or plastic bag. Cover the container or close the bag and let the peppers steam for about 15 minutes. Peel the skins from the peppers; then cut in half, remove the stems, and scrape out the seeds. Cut the flesh into strips.

    Roast the tomatoes over the flame with the peppers or in the oven for about 15 minutes. Peel and cut them into cubes.

    Combine the onions, eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl.

    Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic together, then season to taste with salt, pepper, and optional cumin. Pour over the eggplant mixture and gently toss to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning and sprinkle with the parsley.