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Transylvanian Eggplant Paté
Transylvanian Eggplant Paté (Vinetta)
Eggplant is a very popular vegetable in Mediterranean region and in the Middle East. Most of these cuisines have their own eggplant pate. You can even buy them in some of the international grocery stores. Now I'm publishing my favorite eggplant pate that I learned from a Transylvanian lady. The Transylvanian eggplant pate (also known as Vinetta or Zakuska) can be served with toast, bagels, pita or any fresh unsweetened bakery products.
Eggplant is not only a very healthy vegetable, but also contains very few calories (18 cal / 1/4 lb - 100 g). If you use light mayo when preparing the eggplant pate, you can get a light, low fat dish. Eggplant is rich in potassium and other minerals and also vitamins.
- 2 eggplants
- 1/2 yellow onion, slightly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 3/4 cup mayo, (prefer with olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon French mustard
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- ground black pepper
How to make the best Transylvanian Eggplant Paté?
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Prick the eggplants with a knife otherwise they can burst. Place the eggplants to a baking sheet or foil and put them into the oven. Baking is the most time consuming part of the process of making this delicious pate, but it's absolutely worth it.
- Bake the eggplants slowly by turning them in about every 30 minutes. After about 2 hours when the skin of the veggies is getting wrinkled, you can take them out from the oven and let them cool. The secret of the best eggplant pate is the very soft white pulp and a bit smoky and black skin.
- While the eggplants are cooling down, you can slightly chop the onion and clean up the kitchen.
- Peel the eggplants with a knife and put the pulp into a sieve. When the unwanted juice drips off the eggplant, place it into a bowl.
- Add the onion, crushed garlic, salt and pepper to the eggplant pulp. Mix and mash this pate with a knife or fork. If you prefer the pate smoother, you can use a mixer. Add the mayo; mustard; olive oil and the lemon juice to the bowl. Mix the pate until it becomes smooth.
- Serve the pate spread on toast or bagel. You can even use it as a dip with pita or naan bread. It's perfect for breakfast, as a starter or a party snack. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks
Tip #1: You can bake the eggplants on a grill outdoors, so you get a more smoky flavor. The original recipes always suggest to grill the eggplants on open fire to have the skin a little bit black, while the pulp still remains white. This way you can save on the baking time, this process only takes about 25 mins.
Tip #2: You can buy and bake the eggplants in bulk and you can freeze the unspiced pulp in small portions. Later you only have to defrost and drip off the previously baked eggplant pulp and spice it (see from step 5).
Tip #3: When buying the eggplants try to choose smaller pieces because the bigger ones can be hollow inside and have more seeds which cause a bitter taste. The fresh eggplant has a nice shiny skin and if you push it with your finger, it won't cause a dent to stay.