Looking for a healthy appetizer or side dish? Look no further! Spanish Marinated Eggplant & Peppers is popular tapa that’s great as appetizer or side dish for grilled meat. Healthy, refreshing and the best part – it can be prepared in advance!
Just to be clear, this dish is not ‘pickled’. You shouldn’t store it for weeks, thinking the longer it stays, the better. The longest I’ve kept it before serving was two days. Took them out of the refrigerator and serve them once they’re at room temperature – YUM!
HOW TO MAKE SPANISH MARINATED EGGPLANT & PEPPERS
WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR SHERRY VINEGAR?
Red wine vinegar is the best substitute for sherry vinegar. You might need to use a bit less though. I feel that red wine vinegar is slightly stronger than sherry vinegar – more intense in its acidity.
CAN I USE OTHER TYPES OF BELL PEPPER?
Yes! I sometimes add yellow or orange bell pepper – but NEVER green bell pepper. Red, yellow and orange bell peppers become sweeter when they’re roasted, not the case for green bell pepper. I have (still) tried adding it a couple of times, but it just does not work for me – it makes the dish a bit off in flavor.
CAN I USE OTHER HERBS?
I’m sure you can, but you SHOULD not skip the mint. It provides the freshness of the dish, and just complements the taste of garlic, the acidity of the vinegar and the smokiness of roasted eggplant and peppers.
I have tried adding a bit of fresh thyme, it turned out good as well. The key is to make sure that the mint is still the main herb. Do not overpower it when you decide to use other types of herb.
During summer, you can just grill the eggplant and peppers directly – next to your barbecue. Or you can wrap it in an aluminum foil if you prefer. Either way, you do not need an oven and the result would still be DELICIOUS! (Perhaps even more) 🙂
HOW DO I SERVE MARINATED EGGPLANT & PEPPERS?
As an appetizer, you should serve it with bread. My personal choice is a plain baguette but try whatever works for you. As for serving it as a side dish, it goes perfectly well with grilled meat, especially when there is a bit of fat in the meat.
You might think this is only a summer dish, but I beg to differ. I prepare Spanish Marinated Eggplant & Peppers the whole year-round. If you are like me, you’ll end up having a meal out of this tapa, some slices of bread and a glass of wine. 🙂
For other vegetable side dish, try any of these recipes:
Or, if you are looking for other bell pepper recipes, give one of these a try:
VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE SPANISH MARINATED EGGPLANT & PEPPERS
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MY AMAZON PICKS:
Looking for a healthy appetizer or side dish? Look no further! Spanish Marinated Eggplant & Peppers is popular tapa that’s great as appetizer or side dish for grilled meat. You get the smokiness of roasted eggplant, sweetness of roasted peppers, and the freshness of mint in every spoonful!
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided into 2 tbsp and 3 tbsp)
- 2 large eggplants
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 3 tbsp fresh mint leave, chopped roughly
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- salt and pepper, to season
Preheat oven to 215° C (420° F).
- Place eggplants and peppers on a baking sheet. Pour and rub 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on each vegetable.
- Once the oven is ready, place baking sheet in the middle of the oven. After 15 minutes, turn both peppers and eggplants to the other side – to avoid burning one side.
- Once the flesh of the pepper is wrinkled (or charred), take them out of the oven and place in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Once the eggplants are tender, take them out of the oven and set aside to cool.
- Take the plastic cover off the bowl with peppers and once the peppers are cool enough, start peeling their skin. Remove the seeds and membrane. Cut the peppers into thin strips, between ¼ to ½ inch.
- Remove the skin of the eggplant and shred them into thin strips as well, about ¼ inch. I normally use a fork and a knife to do this shredding.
- In a bowl, combine eggplant, pepper, garlic, sherry vinegar, 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and mint. Mix to combine. Add more salt and/or pepper, if desired.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Serve at room temperature. Drizzle more olive oil, if desired.