Monk's Salad (Salatet el Raheb)
This Lebanese mezze is called Batenjan El Raheb which translates into English as the monk’s salad, a dish obviously popular with and derived from the Christian community. It's a very simple and light salad consisting of eggplants, peppers, onion and tomatoes. It can be thought as a tahini-less baba ghannouj and as a result is even lighter in taste.
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 medium-size tomato - finely diced
1 medium onion-finely diced (or spring onions)
1 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, mashed
3 to 4 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp sumac
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (210ºC). Prick the eggplant skin all over with a fork. Place them on a baking dish and bake them until the skin blisters black, about 45 mn. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, peel the skin and place the flesh in a sieve over a bowl for about 10 mn to drain excess moisture.
In a mortar, mash the garlic with the salt until mushy.
In a bowl, mix the eggplant with the garlic using a fork. Add the lemon juice and mix.
Spread the eggplant in a salad bowl, top them with the onions, green peppers, tomatoes and parsley. Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some sumac.d pour over the salad.
Serve with pita bread.