Several weeks ago we shared a favourite childhood meal, rabbit stew. We knew that this recipe would be met with some strong reactions; eating rabbit is clearly not for everyone. Although we totally understand and respect this, we felt that it was a shame that not everyone would taste the wonderful flavours of this stew…rabbit aside. Then we remembered that sometimes our parents would replace the rabbit with eggplant! And we laughed, because we realized that this too could be met with some strong reactions; eggplant is not the most popular ingredient out there.
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.
Have you noticed that we have a fondness for eggplant? They are so versatile, and so very delicious. This fruit (yes! eggplant is a fruit, and botanically a species of nightshade, a family of flowering plants) can be treated in all sorts of ways, including being fried for eggplant chips, stuffed in yemista, and even used as a substitute for crostini! It also plays well with others, and in this baked vegetable dish, it is combined with zucchini and potato to make one of our families most favourite dishes. We are so excited to share it!
Gardening is a joy, and it really is a blessing to be able to walk into your backyard and pick supper. Sometimes however, everything seems to ripen at once, and you find yourself with a surplus of vegetables. This is never really a problem, as the non-gardeners in our lives very appreciatively relieve us of our excess. But we have learned that some veggies are less popular than others; eggplant seems to be one of those vegetables. No one has ever turned their nose at a bag of vine-ripened garden tomatoes. Cucumbers are welcomed with a smile, and zucchini are greeted with glee…but eggplant? Eggplant often gets a “it’s not you, it’s me” reaction.
Some things just don’t translate well from Greek to English, and τσικ τσικ (which phonetically translates to Tsik Tsik) is one of those things. We don’t know where this term originated; in fact, for the longest time we thought that this was our paternal grandmother’s own inventive way of referring to a dish which is a medley of whatever vegetables you have lying around, and some eggs. But we were wrong; it seems that around Messinia (which is where our parents are from), many people refer to this easy, summer meal as tsik tsik.
A Greek classic of layered eggplant, potato, meat sauce and béchamel
Welcome to our first entry…again! We’re so happy that you are here.
When we were trying to decide which recipe to launch our website with, the decision was easy. We chose a meal which typically sends shivers of fear down the backs of Greeks and non-Greeks alike. The mighty moussaka! Often ridiculed for sounding like the excrement of wild deer, and feared for its many steps and delectable layers, moussaka truly is a celebratory meal, and we have a lot to celebrate! We hope you do too.