In the Mediterranean and Middle East, meals are often served mezze-style – small bites, lots of salads and appetizers to go with one or more main courses. I’ve seen endless varieties of mezze in my travels, including several cooked aubergine and tomato or pepper salads. These side salads are very often sweet, so they are served like a condiment, always at room temperature and with plenty of olive oil for a richer deep flavor. They are served with freshly baked flatbread or pita. You can enjoy these vegan fried aubergines with roasted pepper sauce either cold or warm.
There’s nothing quite like sitting on the patio of a seaside restaurant and using a warm grilled pita as a spoon for this simple but delicious stuff.
I was craving eggplant and tomato mezze, but none of my cookbooks had exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to create my own recipe. Well, I recently found a jar of Russian grilled peppers in the back of our pantry, which should go perfectly with my dish to combine with aubergines. Frying the eggplant rids it of excess moisture and provides a nice, less mushy texture. I also roast a red bell pepper for the sauce to bring out its natural sweetness and then add a bit of smoky flavor with grilled paprika (you can enhance this with smoked paprika* ). The result is downright delicious.
Roast the peppers yourself in the oven
You can also roast the peppers yourself if you don’t like the pickled variant from the jar.
Preheat the oven to 220 °C and roast 2-3 large red peppers on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes in the oven. After 10 minutes, turn the peppers with tongs and roast for another 10 minutes. When the peppers are soft and wilt, they’re done.
When the peppers are done roasting, remove them from the oven. Place the peppers in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it steam for a few minutes. Once the peppers are steamed, core and peel off the skin. Cut into small pieces and puree.
When cooking the sauce, start with just 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and adjust the flavor as necessary. I use more maple syrup to neutralize the sourness of the pickled grilled peppers.
if you like our aubergines with roasted peppers, you might also be interested in these dishes:
- quick, inexpensive and vegan potato goulash with paprika
- roasted cauliflower on mashed potatoes
- vegan fried aubergines Chinese style
- Teriyaki Baked Japanese Eggplant
- vegan cauliflower korma with tofu
- tender miso onions from the oven
Fried aubergines with roasted peppers
For the eggplant:
- 3 eggplants
- 5 el native olive oil*
- kosher salt*
- Pepper* from the mill
Roasted Pepper Sauce:
- 200 G soy yoghurt or plain yogurt if NoVegan
- 1 clove of garlic
- kosher salt*
- Wash the aubergines and cut into 2 to 3 cm pieces. Sprinkle the aubergines with salt in a bowl, mix and leave to stand on a tray (lined with kitchen paper) for about 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, gently squeeze the aubergines and pat dry.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the aubergines on both sides until golden brown.
- Remove the aubergines from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
The pepper sauce:
- Peel and finely dice the shallot or onion.
- Also peel and finely chop the garlic.
- Wash the peppers, halve, deseed and remove the white membranes. Cut into small cubes.
- Wash the tomatoes, deseed and cut into small cubes.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan or saucepan and sauté the shallots until translucent. Fry the garlic for a minute.
- Stir in the tomato paste and sauté briefly.
- Then add the diced peppers and tomatoes and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
- In the meantime, drain the grilled peppers and finely puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.
- Add the paprika puree to the pot. Stir in agave syrup and season with salt and pepper. Boil.
- Peel and finely chop or grate the garlic.
- Lightly salt and pepper the yoghurt. Mix in the garlic.
- Cold: layer the aubergines and yoghurt alternately in a bowl or on a plate. Spread the paprika sauce on top. This goes well with a delicious fresh flatbread .
- Warm: serve roasted aubergines with sauce and yoghurt dip, for example with rice.