Vinete

In recipe on July 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Vinete on bread

I don’t usually get to say this, but I don’t know where else you would find this recipe. I’ve never seen it anywhere else but my house. And I refuse to google and relieve my ignorance.

Little background – my dad is Hungarian, by way of a region nestled in Romania’s Carpathian mountains. You know it as Transylvania (ominous cackle). The dishes I love that he makes include chicken paprikash (and its vegetarian version,mushroom paprikash), sour cherry soup (this site has a recipe – I haven’t tried it, but the illustration is especially lovely), and vinete.

Vinete (I say “veenahtah”) is the Eastern European equivalent of baba ganoush. I LOVED this dish growing up (still do!). My dad would barbeque eggplants and make the dip, and I would eat it warm (though it is even more delicious cold).

A word of caution for readers nervous of being mocked: In 4th grade I moved to a new school in Los Angeles. My mom packed me a lunch including vinete and bread. The other kids cruelly made fun of my food, saying it looked like vomit. So watch out if you bring this to lunch around 9 year olds. They are cruel!

Vinete recipe
Courtesy – my dad! Thanks, Dad!

  • 2 medium-large eggplants
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt
  • .5 c. sunflower oil

1. Make sure the eggplants are dry – put a few holes into them with fork. Put them on the bbq and make sure they are burnt well (30-40 min), rotating occasionally.

2. Once cool enough to touch, peel eggplants by hand, dipping your fingers in cold water from a nearby bowl. With a wooden spoon scoop the insides into a glass/plastic bowl; make sure to get all the slimy burnt parts off the inside of the skins. Don’t use any metal tools or metal bowls.

3. Wait for mixture to cool (20 min), then pour off the excess liquid that accumulates.

4. Finely grate half a large red onion into it, add the juice of two lemons, a small teaspoon of sugar, dash of salt. Add sunflower oil while mixing it (a total of 0.5 cup or less). Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, then blend in blender or food processor until nice and smooth.

Serve with bread or crudites. Do not serve on playgrounds.

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