An Easy, Healthy Recipe for Eggplant Salad (Spread)

by Mira

Over here in Romania, everyone loves eggplant. One of the two most common dishes with eggplant is eggplant salad (spread). (The other is eggplant moussaka.)

I wrote an article yesterday about breakfast food, Romanian-style. Here’s another idea, very common during the summer months: eggplant salad, spread on bread, to be enjoyed with tasty tomatoes.

My favorite eggplant spread lately is the one without the mayo. It’s healthier and somehow tastes just as good, if not better -- or maybe it’s just me learning to pare down a few recipes and appreciate the healthier result; there is a secret though: cooking the eggplants on a grill. This eggplant spread I will present here is also extremely easy to make.

Ready? Here we go!

Ingredients and Instructions

Ingredients and Instructions

Prep time 45 min  -  Total time 50 min
Ingredients for 16 servings
4 medium eggplants of 500 grams / 18 oz each  • ½ onion  • olive oil 50 ml / 1.7 fl oz  • salt, to taste


1. Cook the eggplants on a grill, turning them with tongs till they’re soft and dark brown all around. Let them sit in a strainer (colander) for 7-8 minutes.
2. Peel the eggplants while they’re still hot. It can be easily done if you wet your fingers regularly in cold water. Place the eggplants in a strainer to drain.
3. Clean the bits of burned skin and chop with a large knife. Do note that you need to use a stainless steel knife if you don’t want to blacken the flesh of the eggplant.
4. Grate the half onion on the fine side of a grater.
4. With a wooden spoon, work the eggplant bits into a spread in a mixing bowl. Add the onion; then add the olive oil gradually.
5. Salt to taste. I suggest you go for less salt here, and get that salty taste from sprinkling a bit of salt on the tomatoes (see step 6).
6. Serve on whole-grain bread, with a halved or sliced tomato on the side. You can decorate the slices of bread with sprigs of parsley.

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (17 Votes)

Enjoy! For more easy and healthy recipes aimed at those of you who want to lose some weight, go to The 3 Magic Keys to Losing Weight article, where I’ll be posting links to articles like this one, to inspire you to eat more veggies and fruit!

If you're curious about more Romanian-style breakfast ideas, see this page about the three core Romanian breakfast staples.

Taste of Romania cookbook, Expanded Edition (by Nicolae Klepper)

Taste of Romania, Expanded Edition
$14.99  $3.79

If you're interested in Romanian recipes, here's a bit about a book full of great traditional Romanian dishes, called Taste of Romania. It's one of the best English-language books out there on local recipes (and local culture); he also includes Romanian Jewish recipes.

I have the book in hardback, and have to say that Nicolae Klepper picked some very nice versions of the recipes he's presenting. Also, he offers all the cooking tips you need in order to cook the dish to perfection. I'm happy to say that his eggplant salad is very similar with mine in that it uses olive oil -- the vast majority of Romanian eggplant salad recipes call for mayonnaise. People also use sunflower seed oil in the country, rather than olive oil. I think olive oil is not only healthier, but better to the taste as well.

Anyway, back to Taste of Romania: I'm very glad it exists. Nicolae Klepper somehow got some of the master chefs at major hotels to share recipes for his book. He also complements these great recipes with nice tidbits about the country. If you don't know much about Romania but want to visit sometime, or you are nostalgic about what you tasted and learned in the country, I suggest you get this book. It's wonderful.

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Updated: 10/21/2020, Mira
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Mira on 07/22/2019

I haven't traveled extensively in Eastern Europe, but my sense is that yes, Eastern Europeans do use mayonnaise with vegetables. But I have to say I've eaten lots of veggie salads in Bulgaria without mayo. Same think in Greece. So probably more Russian influence, yes.
We don't fuss much about salt here, but I personally prefer sea salt, as it has more traces of minerals. I also don't think I need the extra iodine that's put in salt sold in food stores here.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/22/2019

Mira, I meant to ask previously if there's a tendency to use sea salt in Romania.
Also, I tend to think of Russian cuisine as using mayonnaise with vegetables. Would that be just Russian or also generalized to Eastern Europe as well?

Mira on 08/31/2015

I agree the place is a good hangout for that kind of experience :)

Veronica on 08/31/2015

I have learned so much from you and everyone else on Wizzley in such a short time . Thank you so much to MIra and everyone else.


Mira on 08/31/2015

:) My mother makes it, and it's really tasty. I tend to use rather few ingredients in my cooking but I like exceptions like this one :)

Veronica on 08/31/2015

The Monk's Stew sounds fabulous, I will try that this week as I have aubergine in the fridge just now. MY sort of food.

Mira on 08/31/2015

:) Thank you, Veronica!

Mira on 08/31/2015

Eggplants are also very good in stews. We have a "monk's stew" here in Romania where you use many vegetables as well as 1 eggplant. It's VERY tasty. You can also use them with tomatoes, bell peppers and zucchini only, for instance. Or you could make moussaka. We love our eggplants :) I didn't realize you'd need to grow them in a greenhouse.

Mira on 08/31/2015

Hi Derdiu, we've had a super dry summer here, and many crops suffered. Huge losses in agriculture. It was also very hot. It certainly looks like a trend.

Yes, eggplants are very popular here.

Veronica on 08/29/2015

Eggplant or Aubergine as we call it in England is delicious. Moussaka is a great favourite. Often I use auberine as a meat alternative in a ragu when Veggie friends come to visit.

The spread recipe is a must-do!

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