The best eggplant salad in the world (for real!)

eggplant salad recipe turkish

No, we're not talking big. Instead, we really dare to say that we have the best eggplant salad recipe in the world. There may be other Turkish recipes out there with a better version than ours. But certainly not our Turkish-style eggplant salad - it tops them all!


And hey, we're not the only ones who think so! It was a day of visiting the family and despite the amount of food, one thing took center stage; that's right, our eggplant salad! 


"How did you make that?" was the cry from the satisfied guests. Well, you're about to learn the secret tricks to the perfect eggplant salad recipe. Because this is actually not 101% original, but has a few small but tasty extras. 


The end result still tastes like a real Turkish-style eggplant salad... only strikingly perfect. (Please read our other recipes, we don't always sound so pretentious :-))

eggplant salad recipe turkish

Our Turkish-style eggplant salad

Turkey is the land of the eggplant par excellence. There are many recipes (for example Imam Bayildi) with the vegetable and the eggplant salad is certainly one of the classics. It is practically a must when making barbecue. This is because vegetables such as eggplants, peppers and tomatoes are grilled first and then taken over by the women. 


While the men roast minced meat skewers, chicken wings, sucuk and the like, the women prepare an eggplant salad with the eggplants. We have never actually tried our eggplant salad recipe with the unique taste of charcoal - we still have to do that!


This goes into the Turkish-style eggplant salad

The Turkish eggplant salad relies on simple ingredients that combine to create something spectacular. These include soft eggplants, grilled peppers, lots of parsley, tomato, onion, garlic, pomegranate syrup* and/or lemon and good olive oil. Some people add sumac. Well, we have perfected our eggplant salad recipe by adding other things. These include:

  • a little salca (Turkish tomato and/or bell pepper puree - sun-ripened and intense)
  • We sauté our onions in oil until translucent, so no raw onions are used in our eggplant salad recipe.
  • a little sugar with the onions (we are almost certain that this accounts for 80% of the outstanding flavor of our eggplant salad recipe)
  • pomegranate syrup* AND lemon (not or)

In the end, the eggplant salad recipe is actually really simple, but it takes more time than a classic salad due to the grilling and sautéing of the onions. Incidentally, we simply cooked the eggplants and peppers in the oven - no need to fire up the grill!


Tip: We grilled the red peppers directly with the eggplants in the oven. However, you can also use grilled red peppers from a jar*. If you're in a hurry, you can even use grilled eggplants from a jar*.

eggplant salad recipe

A little about the right eggplants for salads

In Turkey, the land of eggplants, you will find eggplants in all shapes and many colors. These range from the classic, thick, dark purple eggplant to the equally purple, but very thin and long eggplant. The range continues with thick balls reminiscent of a bomb to light purple eggplants with stripes. Or how about white eggplants? Green ones? Or would you prefer the mini eggplants the size of a child's hand, which are particularly popular in the south-east or with the Syrians in Turkey?


Well, there is a huge variety and we made a small mistake when preparing our eggplant salad recipe. We used the long, thin eggplants (Kemer eggplants) and they simply don't have enough flesh for this eggplant salad. Granate-formed Bostan eggplants would have been more suitable instead.


The good news: if you live elsewhere you usually don't have to worry! Just use nice, plump eggplants for our eggplant salad recipe. Afiyet olsun!

eggplant salad recipe

Turkish-style aubergine salad recipe

Ingredients (approx. 3 portions)

  • 3 eggplants (or grilled eggplants from the jar*)
  • 2 red pointed peppers (or grilled peppers from the jar*)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp tomato and/or bell pepper paste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • a handful of parsley
  • 1 full tbsp pomegranate syrup (Nar Eksisi*)
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tsp sugar (or a sugar cube)
  • Pul Biber* for some spice
  • salt and pepper





Step 1: Wash the eggplants and peppers. Rub them with a little oil and put them in the oven at approx. 200 degrees C/ 400 F for 20-30 minutes. The eggplants should be soft and the peppers grilled. Alternatively grill them while making barbecue.

Step 2: Chop the onions and fry them in a pan with the olive oil until translucent but not brown. Add the tomato/pepper paste and stir it into the onions. Now pour the sugar over the onions and allow it to dissolve. Mix everything together and turn off the heat.


Step 3: Peel the grilled eggplants and peppers and cut them into small pieces. Press the garlic. Cut the tomato into small pieces. Chop the parsley and mix everything together, including the onions. Season with lemon juice, pomegranate syrup, pul biber, salt and pepper. 

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