Ingredients : 4-5 lb eggplants, one sweet onion, 5 table spoons (5 fl oz or 150 ml) of sunflower oil, 4-5 tomatoes, salt.
Make sure the eggplants are hard. The soft ones usually have a lot of big seeds, and this is not what you need. You want to use hard eggplants with less seeds. The Chinese eggplants are ideal for this dish, but the Italian ones will work as well.
1. Grill the eggplants on medium fire until become very soft and the peel is changing color. Sometimes the peel might open up with a popping noise.
2. After they are grilled, and while they are still warm, peel off the eggplants in warm water.
3. Squeeze the peeled eggplants very well one by one and put them in a food processor.
4. Add sunflower oil slowly and little by little taking a 2 minutes break after each one-spoon add. The adds should be made while mixing. The color becomes lighter.
5. Add salt also little by little during mixing (to taste).
6. Fine-dice a sweet onion (you can use the food processor for this) and squeeze it until most of the water is eliminated.
7. Add the diced onion to the spread and mix it vigorously with a spoon.
Refrigerate the salad for a few hours and serve it with sliced tomatoes and Italian or French style fresh white bread.
If you want to really impress your guests, use the eggplant salad to fill up tomatoes and serve them on a nice aperitifs platter.
Here are a couple of more versions of the eggplant salad for different taste:
A. Instead of sunflower oil you can use mayonnaise to taste and mix it with the eggplants in the food processor without adding any onion.
B. For the garlic lovers: fine-dice a few garlic cloves and add them to the eggplant salad before refrigeration.
One Middle Eastern version of this spread is known as Baba Ghanoush.