Greek Eggplant Dip: Melitzanosalata

While traveling through the Peloponnese, we were always surprised by how delicious the food was.  Which… after the first three places we ate really should not have been a surprise.  However, we discovered early on that there was a tasty eggplant dip that seemed so simple in nature that we decided we had to try making it when we came home.

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I avoided eggplants for years.  Growing up in a Korean-American household, we often would fry the eggplants with some batter (which actually was delicious) but we more often would just steam the eggplant.  The minute I walked down to dinner and saw the steamed eggplant, the ungrateful teenager that I was, I would grumble and denigrate the unassuming eggplant.

Then Lisa introduced me to the world (a better world) where eggplants were steamed and diced and chopped with red peppers and the like, and a newfound stage in my eggplant relationship began.

In Greece we frequently came across the English menu that said “Aubergine salad.”  Being ignorant of what that could be, I could only think… well… I’ve bought some “Aubergine” colored clothing, so by similar process of elimination that must be… Eggplant?   And sure enough it was.

This is all to say, if you were an anti-Eggplanter as I once was, give it another chance.  It might just surprise you!

Ingredients

  • 4 large purple eggplants
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 125 ml olive oil (1/2 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (I used a ton of parsley, but this is really up to you)

Directions

  1. To prepare this super easy melitzanosalata recipe (Greek eggplant dip), start by baking the eggplants. You could either bake them whole or sliced, depending on the time you have available. If you choose to bake them whole, use a fork to make some wholes on the aubergines, place on a tray and bake for about 1 hour. Alternatively for a quicker version of this melitzanosalata recipe, cut the eggplants in slices and place them on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Coat with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper and add 1-2 cloves of garlic. Cover with parchment paper and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. For this melitzanosalata recipe you need to use only the flesh of the eggplants. Peel the eggplants and dice the pulp.
  3. Place the pulp and the other ingredients in a large bowl and vigorously mix with a wooden spoon. (If you prefer your melitzanosalata to have a creamier texture, then add the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse, adding the olive oil gradually on a steady stream. Alternatively mash the eggplants using a fork). Let the melitzanosalata (Greek eggplant dip) cool down and put in the fridge to allow the flavours to mingle.
  4. Serve the melitzanosalata in a small bowl garnished with a whole black olive. Enjoy!

Adapted from “My Greek Dish.

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