This is a traditional family Romanian recipe from my mother-in-law Florence Hertzman that she learned from her mother Bessie Swartz. Bessie was born in Iasi, Romanian in 1904 and she was taught this recipe by her mother Batya Yancovitz. Florence remembers her mother calling it ‘Potelagela’ or ‘Putlagula’.
There are many variations for eggplant salad, each Romanian housewife adding one or two ingredients to make it their own. Bessie added green onions and used a wood pasty cutter to mash the eggplant and peppers. This Russian/Polish housewife, (that’s me) will be using the food processor and adding a dash of hot sauce.
- 1 medium eggplant, whole
- 1 medium green or red pepper, cut in quarters and seeded.
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of canola oil, or more if needed (you could use any light tasting oil)
- 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
- dash of white pepper
- Place eggplant and peppers on a baking sheet and broil until charred on all sides, turning often.
- When done take out of the oven and let the eggplant and peppers rest for at least 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
- When cool carefully peel the charred skin from the eggplant and peppers, set aside.
- Add the green onion to the food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Place only the flesh of the eggplant and peppers into the food processor. Add the oil, salt and pepper, mix well.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Spread on crackers or crusty bread.
Best served at room temperature.