Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins
Classical Turkish Cooking
- 1 1⁄2 lbs globe eggplants
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 jalapeno chile
- 1 -2 garlic clove, minced
- to a paste with salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄3 cup finely ground toasted walnuts
- 1⁄2 cup drained yogurt (see box)
- fresh ground black pepper
- wine vinegar
- Wrap eggplant in a double layer of aluminum foil, sealing the package well. Set package directly over a medium gas flame or a charcoal fire, turning occasionally until eggplant is tender, about 25 minutes. You can also bake the eggplant unwrapped on a baking sheet in a moderately hot oven, about 400 degrees, pricking it first to prevent bursting, but it will not have the desirable smoky taste.
- Carefully unwrap the foil package, and when eggplant is cool enough to handle, remove the charred black skin. Scrape flesh into a bowl and add cold water to cover. Add lemon juice and let stand 30 minutes to keep the eggplant from darkening. Drain eggplant and squeeze dry.
- Over a gas flame or charcoal fire, or under a broiler, cook green pepper and chile until blackened and blistered all over. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the skins, ribs and seeds. Mince the green pepper and chile.
- Put the eggplant, green pepper, chile and garlic in a mortar and pound to a paste. Alternatively, mince to a paste by hand. Stir in the olive oil, walnuts and yogurt. Season to taste with salt, pepper and wine vinegar. Let stand at room temperature for a couple of hours to blend flavors, or refrigerate for longer keeping.
- Makes 2-2 1/2 cups.