We don’t know about you, but in our homes, melitzanosalata often plays second and third fiddle to some of the other, more popular Greek dips like tzatziki and taramosalata. This is a shame, and every time we do have melitzanosalata, we vow to make it again very soon; it is so good, so easy, and pretty good for you too. It is also a great way to use up any eggplant surplus from the garden when you don’t feel like eggplant chips (actually…we always feel like eggplant chips), or you don’t have the time to invest in making moussaka.
Melitzanosalata literally translates into eggplant salad, but here we have decided to refer to it as eggplant dip, because we think that this sounds more logical to non-Greeks. It is delicious eaten as a dip or spread, with pita chips, fresh bread or veggies. It is also delicious paired with grilled meats or chicken.
There are many types of eggplant available and theoretically, we suppose that this recipe can be made with any of them. However, given that the eggplant needs to be roasted and then the flesh scooped out, a really skinny eggplant (like a Japanese eggplant) may make the task more difficult. Our parents typically use the dark purple eggplants for this recipe.
The recipe below will make approximately one cup of melitzanosalata, perfect for a one time treat or appetizer. If you want to make more, then simply use more eggplants and increase the quantity of the other ingredients accordingly.
We enjoy a very smooth melitzanosalata, which is why all the ingredients are combined together in a blender or food processor. If you prefer a chunkier version however, simply mash the eggplant up with a fork, mix in the rest of the ingredients, and enjoy it that way. Same taste, different texture!
Mia Kouppa: Melitzanosalata, Eggplant dip
- 2 medium sized eggplants; 1 cup (250 ml) eggplant after roasting
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (4 ml) red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (4 ml) dried Greek oregano
- 1 teaspoon (4 ml) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rinse your eggplant, and then dry them. Leave them whole, including with the stem still on.
- Peel your garlic cloves and cut them into slivers (approximately 4 slivers / clove). Make slits in your eggplant using a small, sharp knife and insert one sliver of garlic into each slit.
- Take some of your olive oil and rub your eggplants with it. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little bit of dried oregano. Bake, uncovered for approximately 60 minutes.
- When your eggplant are fully roasted (a fork will very easily pierce the skin and eggplant flesh), remove them from the oven. Allow to cool.
- Cut the stems off of the eggplant and slice them in half length-wise. Scoop out the inside of the eggplant, being sure to include the garlic slivers. Place the eggplant into a blender or food processor. Note that the quantities of the rest of the ingredients are based upon having 1 cup of roasted eggplant. If you have more, adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
- To the blender, or food processor, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the red wine vinegar, the 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend, or process, until well combined and a pureed consistency.
- Place the melitzanosalata into a bowl and stir in the chopped up parsley. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top of the melitzanosalata before serving. Serve with pita chips, bread, crackers or veggies. Enjoy!