Annael’s Babaganush

Salatim (aka dips or little side dishes) are a popular Shabbat food, usually served on Friday night, alongside challah. While there are lots of store bought options available, the Efrat based nutritionist Annael Brown prefers to make her salatim from scratch.

Annael’s Babaganush (Eggplant Salad)

This is a staple salad in my family for years. Every aunt from my mother’s side (as well as my grandmother) makes her own babaganush (and they all taste slightly different). I find that draining the liquid before mixing enhances the flavor (my grandmother disagrees 🙂 ). It’s an addictive salad with challah, but we even like eating it with our chicken!
Eggplant is a low calorie vegetable full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is a nightshade though, so if you are sensitive to nightshades, beware!

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants
2-3 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. salt
3-4 cloves minced garlic
2-3 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise

              Annael’s Shabbat Salatim

Directions

– Prepare an oven rack with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 200 C.
– Slice the eggplants lengthwise down the middle.
– Place the eggplant halves on the oven rack, face down (so the skin is exposed).
– Bake the eggplants in the oven (somewhere between the bottom of the oven and the center, but not the top) for around 60-80 minutes*. You don’t want the faces of the eggplants to become very dark. If they begin to darken, lift the rack higher up.
– Remove from the oven when the eggplant is ready (see * below). Let eggplant cool down.
– Flip over the halves, and with a spoon, scoop out the meat into a master slicer (or food processor. If you don’t have either, transfer to a regular bowl. Place the meat on a chopping board and chop finely with a large knife, then transfer to a bowl).
– If you can, let the meat sit there for a short while (minimum 30 minutes). This will let the extra liquid accumulate, which you can then carefully pour out into the sink.
– Add the rest of the ingredients to the master slicer/processor/bowl, and mix well. (If not using a slicer/processor, then after draining the liquids, move to a chopping board and chop finely with a large knife, till the eggplant is no longer stringy. Transfer back to the bowl, then add remaining ingredients.)
– The garlic really stands out in this recipe, so if yours isn’t garlicky enough, add another clove till it is.
Adjust to taste, and B’teavone!

*Note: I usually bake them simultaneously with something else in the oven. So if the oven is 180 and not 200, I’ll just bake them longer, making sure not to let them burn. Eggplant meat should turn slightly tan. If it’s still white, it needs more oven time.

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