Melitzanosalata (Eggplant Salad)Apr 25th, 2009 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Appetizer, Dips, Greek, Herbs, Meze, Recipes, Salad, Vegetables
Receipe update from 06/06/2007
In the summer in Greece, this Greek dip can often be found at tavernas among the several Mezedes (appetizers) ordered by a group of friends and it’s most definitely on the table at home for family & friends. The “must-do” for this recipe is char-roasting the eggplant in a gas or charcoal grill to get the smokiness.
This past Easter, I lit some charcoal to grill my array of meats to accompany our lamb. Don’t be shy, throw the eggplant right onto the white-hot coals. They will impart a wonderful smoked flavour to your eggplant.
When I order this from a Greek taverna, I’m let down when I taste that the eggplant was roasted in the oven. FAIL.
Some variations for this dish is to include some chopped walnuts, some crumbled Feta, chopped scallions or even some roasted peppers.
Some of you might be familiar with Baba ghanoush, which is fine but this Greek eggplant dip focuses on the the eggplant, the smoky eggplant in particular, the garlic, olive oil and some chopped fresh parsley for balance and freshness.
Melitzanosalata (Eggplant Salad)
You will need a BBQ (either charcoal or gas grill) and a mortar & pestle to prepare this dish and here are the ingredients:
* 1 medium to large Italian eggplant
* 1 large clove of garlic
* extra virgin olive oil
* coarse sea salt to taste
* 2 tbsp of chopped flat-leaf parsley
* Small squeeze of lemon juice (prevents the eggplant from turning brown)
1) Your BBQ/Grill is on and you place an eggplant (on direct heat) that’s been pricked with a fork a few times all around. The eggplant should take about 20-30 minutes (depending how hot your grill/BBQ is) and should be rotated until all of the skin has been charred.
2) When the eggplant is done roasting, let it rest for about 10 minutes and take to mashing your clove of garlic in some coarse sea salt in the mortar & pestle. Your garlic should be a fine mash.
3)Take a knife and cut the eggplant open, vertically and peel open it to reveal it’s light green-yellow meat. With a spoon, scrape out the meat and place it into your mortar , add a squeeze of lemon juice and mash the eggplant & incorporate the garlic with the eggplant.
4) Now you will add, slowly, the olive oil to the eggplant while still mixing using the pestle. For one eggplant, usually 1/4 to a 1/3 cup of olive oil is sucked up by the eggplant.
5) Add the chopped parsley to the eggplantÂ and adjust for seasoningÂ and plate with a parsley garnish. Depending on my mood, sometimes I add some crumbled Feta cheese into the mix!
Get some crusty bread and dip away!
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