I last enjoyed this salad whilst in Lebanon, at a restaurant off the beaten track in a coastal town full of charm and history. The small, family-run restaurant, appropriately named after its owner, “Chez Maggy”, is nestled along the coast of Batroun. It hosts some of the most beautiful views of the Mediterranean and the old Phoenician Wall.
Batenjan El Raheb translates into English as the monk’s aubergine. I’m not exactly sure why it was given the name but something leads me to believe it’s because of its utter simplicity. Whatever the case, it’s simply delicious!
To describe Lebanon’s coast is a task carried out in vain. Yes, you could say I’m bias since I hail from this country, but there is something about it.
There is a saying in Lebanon and I forget how it goes exactly but it’s something along these lines: Arrive hesitantly, leave hesitantly. You have to visit to understand it. I’m just sayin!
(All pictures in the video are property of Dirty Kitchen Secrets unless otherwise noted)
- 4 aubergines
- 4 small tomatoes-finely diced
- 1 medium onion-finely diced
- 70g pomegranate seeds
- 20g of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- about 10 mint leaves, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup olive oil, or more to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Chargrill the eggplants till the skin is burnt and soft.
- Remove the skins.
- Chop off the head.
- Now slice the aubergine in half.
- Then in thin, long strips
- Then into cubes.
- Place into little serving dishes or a big bowl.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Then add the finely diced tomatoes.
- Then the finely diced onions.
- Add the pomegranate seeds and drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with parsley and mint.