Saturday, July 30, 2011

Salatim: Aubergine And Others

Salatim is Israeli cuisine's answer to tapas or antepasta. You serve a selection of Middle-Eastern dips and small salads with pita and olives for an interesting hors d'ouvres. Add some stuffed vine leaves, a big salad and some cheese et voila - lunch for a summer's day.

I usually have a mammoth cooking fest on a Thursday night because it suits me to have a full fridge for the weekend and leftovers for as long as they last. Most salatim will last the week in the fridge if necessary, but it never happens. I eat them as dips with crackers or crispy things, spread on toast, as dressings for salads, or sauces for pasta. 

The most ubiquitous salatim are humus and tehina. For Salat Tehina, just take the humus recipe and add more tehini paste instead of chickpeas. It makes a lighter, more runny sort of dip with a distinct sesame taste.

The next most popular ingredient for salatim is aubergine:
Salat Aubergine (also known as Baba Ganoush)

1 aubergine
lots of garlic
lemon juice
chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Prick an aubergine and place it in a hot oven until the peel is crisp and cracked. Cut it in half and scoop out the flesh into a sieve. When it is drained put all the ingredients into a food processor and mix to a loose paste. NB: start with small amounts of the seasonings and add to taste.

A variation is to mix the aubergine with mayonaise instead of lemon juice - for a creamier salat.

Salat Aubergine Piquanti
1 aubergine sliced and cut into small cubes
1 pepper (whatever colour you like)
6 tomatoes (peeled and chopped - save the juice)
lots of chopped garlic
ground cumin and coriander
salty and pepper
canola or sunflower oil (no point wasting good virgin olive oil for cooking)
Lemon juice

Saute the aubergine and garlic in a pan. Add all the other ingredients and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Leave to cool. Many people add tomato puree for a deeper red appearance but I'm on a back-to-basics quest so I try to eliminate things in packaging.

And here's one for free as we've practically made it already:
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Par-boil slices of carrot. Saute chopped garlic in a pan. Add the carrots, lemon juice, ground cumin and coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer until the carrots are soft and any liquid has been absorbed. Serve cool.

This post is linked to the Saturday Recipe Swap at LakesSingleMum. The theme this week is summer dishes for picnics and BBQs. Check it out.

I've also linked to Recipeshed's Salad Week. Loads of interesting and unusual salads so pop over and take a look.


  1. Yum!!! Thank you! xxxxx

    Hey, for once I think Blogger is going to let me comment! fingers crossed.

  2. It shouldn't be problem now as I changed the settings. Sorry you had to wait so long for the recipe.
    Rachel xx

  3. Sounds yummy and I like the fact that it keeps in fridge and you can use as toppings/spreads etc. I may even try one of these recipies!

    xx Jazzy

  4. Go for it Jazzy, let me know how it went. Thanks for commenting.

  5. That looks delicious. I imagine it would make a fantastic lunch with crusty bread. Great stuff. Next week's Recipe Shed theme is FLAVOURS OF THE SEA

  6. I love your recipes, you always bring something new to me and it is so interesting to find out a bit of background info as well. I have seriously wondered what to do with aubergine (other than grilling/ BBQ slices, or make into a moussaka), and now I have another idea! Thank You :)

  7. @reluctant - yes, it's the best with good bread. The perfect lunch or breakfast.

    @Anton - Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. And good luck with the Salat making.

  8. Love this. I had something that sounds similar in Bahrain years and years ago. I never eat aubergines because I don't know what to do with them, but you've hit the spot here. Thanks.

    1. looking forward to seeing your aubergine creations :)

  9. I thought you may like this aubergine-inspired (inspired by yourself!!) dish...