Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit Penso

Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants

Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoTomatoes-peppers sauce, or “Salata Kocha” (i.e. “cooked salad”), as it is known in Ladino, is a condiment that can be found in any Sephardic household at any given time. The sauce is cooked until it has almost jam-like texture and is used for just about anything: as a side for roasted beef or chicken, or fried fish dishes, with pastries such as Boyos and Burekitas, as a spread for sandwiches, as a base for cooking eggs…you get the picture!
In the following recipe, the sauce is added to fried eggplant slices. Here, again, the uses are numerous – serve them at room temperature as an appetizer with thick yogurt or cheese, as a side dish for all of the above mentioned foods, in sandwiches with cold cuts – or in any other way you choose.

Notes:
* As you can see from the photos, the peppers I’ve used are pale green with thin skin (sometimes sold as “gypsy peppers”). Do your best to find them, as they are the only ones suitable for this sauce.
* As for the tomatoes, the best type would be Roma tomatoes. Other types will also work, but may need longer cooking time.
* The sauce is rustic, so the tomatoes are not peeled. If you prefer a more delicate sauce, you can remove the skins before cooking, as shown HERE.
* Sprinkling the eggplants with salt for a few hours, makes them absorb minimal amount of oil while frying. Don’t skip this step, or you’ll end up with soggy and oily eggplants.
* For best results, top the fried eggplants with the sauce while still warm.
* The sauce will keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for 7-10 days. The eggplants – for about 3 days.
* For more information about Sephardic origins, check under THIS post.

Makes: 6
Make ahead time for the eggplants: 4 hours/overnight
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking/frying time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
For the eggplants:
1 medium eggplant
Coarse salt
Oil for frying
For the tomatoes-peppers sauce:
2 Tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
½ jalapeno pepper, or to taste, chopped
5-6 medium tomatoes (see notes), roughly chopped
2 large green peppers (see notes), roughly chopped
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. The eggplants: with a serrated knife, remove the ends and cut the eggplant into medium thick slices. Place the slices on a work surface and sprinkle a bit of salt on both sides. Place in a colander and let the eggplants “sweat” for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. When ready to fry, pat dry and squeeze the slices gently with paper towels.
2. Preheat oil for shallow frying in a large pan over medium-high heat. Fry the slices until golden on both sides.  Place on paper towels, to absorb extra oil.
Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit Penso
3. The tomatoes-peppers sauce: preheat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and jalapeno and fry for 30 seconds. Add the green peppers, mix and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Mix and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 40 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the tomatoes break down, the peppers are soft and most of the liquids evaporated. The consistency should be like a thick jam. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit Penso
Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit Penso Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit Penso
4. Arrange the fried eggplant on a serving plate, add a spoonful of warm tomatoes-peppers sauce on each fried slice. Serve at room temperature.
Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit PensoSephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit Penso Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants Ronit Penso

50 thoughts on “Sephardic Tomatoes-Peppers Sauce with Fried Eggplants

  1. judilyn says:

    When peppers are in season – like NOW! – I make this combination of peppers/tomatoes a lot, usually adding mushrooms and onions. I keep a pile of it in the fridge, and then (like tonight), I can slap together a pizza with nearly no effort at all! The crust is rising in the bread machine at this very moment!

    Salting the eggplant makes all the difference in the world. I seldom keep them in nice slices like that, opting instead to really squeeze the heck out of the salted slices, and then fry the pieces with other veggies as you show. The brown “juice” that comes out is very bitter, and if you have chapped hands or a cut on your hands, you will know exactly where it hurts!

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joyce Klein Gabai says:

    Ronit, it’s interesting for me to see something I never saw in my Sephardic mother-in-law’s kitchen. Is this similar to the sauce for huevos con tomat? I love the combination of tomatoes and eggs.
    By the way, I love your photography. Everything always looks so delicious!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Joyce, for such a compliment about my photos. I use a very simple camera and try my best – so it’s good to know it somehow works! :)

      How interesting that you never saw “Salata Kocha” in your mother-in-law’s kitchen. I guess it’s a personal preference. In any case, it’s really delicious with eggs.

      Like

  3. annika says:

    Absolutely mouth-watering. I just made salsa verde this weekend for the 5th or 6th time since you posted the recipe… I took some photos this time, maybe I will post them. This is another one of your recipes that is making my must-make list. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Marta, I’m very glad to learn that.
      It makes perfect sense, as Sephardic culture and food started in Spain. Ladino, the language Sephardic people speak, is actually old Spanish.
      Unfortunately, I don’t speak it fluently, but I understand a lot of it, and some of your comment too. :)

      Using Google translate:
      Gracias Marta, estoy muy contento de saber que.
      Tiene mucho sentido, ya que la cultura sefardí y la comida se iniciaron en España. Ladino, el idioma hablan los sefardíes, es una realidad española de edad.
      Por desgracia, no hablo con fluidez, pero entiendo mucho de eso, y algunos de sus comentarios también.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk says:

    Looks fabulous! The peppers look familiar, I think I’ve seen them in the farmers market here in TN. I have lots of Roma tomatoes in the freezer, and eggplant in the fridge, so I’ll try it this weekend. I might even use it for snacking when we watch the election returns next week.

    Like

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