BIG flavours, vibrant colours and a marinade that will knock your socks off, this Macedonian Salad is substantial enough for a meal or as a stunning side. You’ve just got to try it!!
With Easter just around the corner, l have been looking for a salad recipe that’s just a little different to what l make each year. l didn’t have to look too far because sitting in my cupboard was a vegetarian recipe book that l bought years ago.
Inside, l found this Macedonian Salad recipe and was totally sold on the freshness of the ingredients and the magnificent combination of herbs, dry red wine, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and garlic that make the mouth-watering marinade.
A colourful combination of red and green capsicums (bell peppers), tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and shallots makes up the bulk of the salad, but the real hero of the dish is the eggplant.
The eggplant is cut into bite size pieces or cubes, tossed in olive oil and grilled (broiled) until just tender and the edges start to go a little crispy.
While still hot, the marinade is poured over the eggplant cubes which then slowly absorb all those power-packed flavours as they cool.
Some salads when eaten on their own, may leave you feeling a little peckish a short time later; not this one!
Preparation Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes
- 2 small – medium eggplants
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 2 spring onions (scallions)
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 green capsicum, 1 red capsicum (bell peppers)
- 1 tbsp parsley (roughly chopped)
- olive oil
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp dry red wine (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp of each, dried oregano and thyme
- salt to taste
- 100 g (2 oz) crumbled fetta
- Place all the marinade ingredients in a jar and give it a shake. Set aside.
- Turn on the oven grill to 190 C / 170 F.
- Peel the eggplants. Cut into bite size cubes ( 1.5 cm/0.5 inch in thickness), salt lightly and let stand for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pat down the eggplant cubes with paper towels to remove the liquid that has been drawn out. Oil a baking tray, place the cubes on the tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Toss them gently to ensure that most sides are coated. Grill for 15 minutes on the top rack or until you see the edges begin to turn brown. (Note 2)
- Remove the eggplant cubes from the oven and transfer carefully onto a medium plate or bowl. While still hot, pour the marinade over the eggplant. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours (Note 3).
- Cut all the vegetables into small chunks. Toss with the eggplant.
- Serve on a bed of mixed greens, topped with crumbled fetta.
1. I rarely cook with wine, but once l tried this marinade, l was won over.
2. Cut the eggplant into bite size pieces; too big and they will take longer to cook, too small and they will turn to mush. They are ready when you can easily pierce them with a tooth pick.
3. The longer you allow the eggplant to soak up the flavours of the marinade, the better. You can chill the eggplant for up to 2 hours, depending on how much time you can spare. Cut the remainder of the vegetables just before serving.
Adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The Moosewood Cookbook 1977.