While I was vacationing in Azerbaijan, I enjoyed eating several varieties of delicious salad called Mangal, a very popular summer dish. Traditionally most of the ingredients for the salad are grilled on skewers on a mangal, a Caucasian style grill, and served as a side with grilled meat (kebab). However, I am still too tired from my jet lag – excuses, excuses, excuses – so I roasted the veggies under the broiler.
This recipe beautifully compliments grilled meat and is great as a main dish for vegetarians. It is full of flavors and aroma from the roasted vegetables and the fresh garlic and herbs.
Prep: 5 min Broil: 15 min Chill: 30 min Total: 50 min Servings: 4
2 medium eggplants
2 medium tomatoes
1 large Anaheim or bell pepper
1 mild or high heat pepper
1/2 large red onion, cut into circles
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, dill, or basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
Turn on the broiler. Place the eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, and onions on a broiler pan.
Broil on high 4 inches below the heat source until the skin of all the vegetables but onions starts to char and blister. The peppers and onions will take about 5 minute on each side and the eggplants and tomatoes about 7- 8 minutes on each side. The eggplants should become soft when you squeeze them. Depending on the broiler, the vegetables might take less or more time to cook, so make sure to watch them closely.
After removing vegetables from the oven, place them into a bowl and cover with a lid. Let them cool slightly for 10 minutes. This will help with peeling.
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds (The Anaheim pepper I was using in this recipe was small, so I added 1/2 red bell pepper that I roasted earlier). Peel the eggplants and tomatoes. Cut all the vegetables into small pieces and place into a bowl. Add the garlic, cilantro, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Gently mix. Place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Serve it with warm bread as a main dish or with grilled meat as a side.