My maternal grandfather had 12 children, yea that's correct, thats not a typo. All 12 were with my grandmother, so yea. (My dad is also 1 of 10! Needless to say I have a ton of cousins lol) So there were tons of kids and grandkids which made him the ultimate Godfather of the household. It was so fun beyond words to visit Damascus because of my parents huge families.
In the dining room which connected to the living room there was a long table that seated over 20 people which is where everyone hung out, mainly because everyone was always eating! My grandfather, who they called Abu Sayeh (which literally translates to Father of Sayeh, his oldest sons name) would sit not at the head of the table but instead on the corner seat so he can have a better view of the living room and still be kept in the loop of what everyone is doing. He had major FOMO (fear of missing out) haha, but seriously he did lol.
Although my grandmother (Umm Sayeh, mother of Sayeh haha) would make so many amazing meals every. single. day. literally. my grandfather would prefer to sit on the corner of the 20 person table and eat this simple eggplant salad, which basically consisted of fried eggplant, parsley, tomato, cucumber, and tons of garlic and salt with pita bread. Problem was, everyone loved this salad too, but I guess good thing he was the Godfather. The way the eggplant melts in your mouth, the crunchy cucumber, the combination of parsley and garlic, just wow.
Usually, this dish is made using the bigger eggplants. But I find these so cute because I'm a dork and love everything mini. They're so cute for entertaining. These particular eggplants are called Indian Eggplants and the striped purple and white ones are called Japanese eggplants. I found them to be the perfect bite size. I thought it would be so cute to add them to pre cut pita bread and serve them like a little taco. (seems I'm craving tacos, I keep talking about them haha) SEE BELOW.
So I'm not going to claim that these are healthy because they are fried. I'm actually even hesitant to post the picture of them being fried. They can most definitely be made in the oven, but it just takes more time and I didn't have the time at the time when I made them lol say time five times real fast. However, I will post a "healthy" version of this in the future because its so friggin good!
- 12 Indian eggplants (really any eggplant works)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped tomato (I know, I didn't use tomato but honestly its because Ayla, my 2 year old, ate my last tomato as I was making them!)
- 1 tbl minced garlic
- 1/4 cup cucumber
- pomegranate for garnish, optional
- vegetable oil for frying
- Cut eggplant and sprinkle with salt, set aside
- After 20 minutes wash eggplant and pat dry with paper towel
- Heat oil
- Fry eggplant and place on a paper towel when done to absorb the excess oil
- Toss with remaining ingredients
- Garnish with pomegranate arils, optional
- Serve with warm pita bread