Melitzanosalata might sound like a mouthful, but it’s a lovely vegetarian and vegan friendly dip that everyone will enjoy!
Made from eggplants/aubergines, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, this dip is so simple to make!
It’s ideal for either hot or cold days; taking with you to the beach for lunch, as it won’t spoil quickly by the heat. Or, served as an appetiser before a big bowl of stifado in winter.
Melitzanosalata is one of those dips that throws a lot of people, because it looks weird. But, trust me, it tastes amazing!
Once you get past the strange grey-brown-green appearance, and delve into it with some crusty bread, you’ll discover its depth of flavour.
It’s smooth and creamy, or rough and chewy, either variation is delicious!
My first encounter with this dip was at Jim’s Greek Tavern, in Melbourne, Australia. It was served as part of the set menu, and my curiosity was peaked.
I took a slice of psomi (see next week’s recipe post) and reached in to scoop some up. A quick sniff, and in the mouth it went.
What happened next could only be described as fireworks. The tangy eggplant/aubergine exploded with flavour; roasted with garlic, the tang of lemon juice, the herbs and spices.
My mind was alive and my tastebuds were astounded.
Since then, I’ve made it several times, played with different spice variations, and textures. This recipe is my favourite, and I’d recommend it to anyone!
Here’s what you’re going to need:
Olive Oil: Ilada Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the smoothest, and freshest olive oil I’ve ever discovered. It’s a must for any pantry!
Greek herbs: Mixing your own herb blend is a great way to personalise your gyros. But, that’s not always possible, this blend by Kalypso is a great stand-by!
Lemon Juice: If fresh lemons are out of the question, then I recommend this one! It’s a great product, lasts a long time in your fridge, and is an affordable option for when fresh lemons are just too expensive to buy.
Sea Salt: Another must-have in the kitchen; great sea salt.
Kalamata olives: These organic olives are great if you struggle to find them locally. Did you know, ‘Kalamata’ olives are named after where they grow? Specifically after the area of Kalamata, in the Peloponnese region of Greece?
Baking tray: Unless you fancy scrubbing your pans and baking trays, then make sure they’re nonstick! Having said that, you also want a quality heavy-duty tray for this recipe and others!
Knife: You won’t need a massive knife for this, just a little paring knife. You’ll want to be able to carefully cut down through the layers of pastry, so 10cm is fine. If you don’t have a paring knife, get one, they’re a great addition to your kitchen.
Mixing bowl:I’m a big fan of these mixing bowls, the set provides enough variety for a range of cooking applications.
Food processor: I cannot recommend this food processor enough. I’ve tried a lot of different processors; big names and smaller names alike. This is an absolute beast in the kitchen, and I love it!
Chopping board: Is a must-have in any kitchen, this solid oak chopping board is a perfect example.
- Baking tray
- Mixing bowls
- Food processor
- Chopping board
- 4 eggplants large purple
- 100 gr red onion
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 125 ml olive oil 1/2 cup
- 60 ml lemon juice
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 45 ml fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat your oven to 200C.
Baking the Eggplant/Aubergine:
- You have three choices: whole, in halves, or in rings.Whole: poke the eggplant/aubergine all over with a fork – this will stop your eggplant/aubergine from exploding in the oven.Halves: slice the eggplant/aubergine lengthwise.Rings: slice the eggplant/aubergine across-wise, so you have discs. On a lined and greased baking tray, arrange the halves or rings and lightly drizzle with oil and with some salt. If baking whole, just place them on the tray.Cover with aluminium foil, and bake for 20 minutes, or until tender.
Making the Dip
- Once baked, allow to cool slightly before removing the purple/brown outer skin.
- Place the skinned eggplant/aubergine pulp, garlic cloves, and spices into either a large mixing bowl or a food processor.Mashing by hand with a fork will give you a rustic texture. Blending with a food processor will make a smoother and creamier consistency.Once mixed, refrigerate for 30mins, or longer, to allow the flavours to meld.
- To serve, place your melitzanosalata in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and top with freshly shopped flatleaf parsley and a Kalamata olive. Oh, and don't for get the crusty bread!
Thanks for checking out this post on making Melitzanosalata dip, and I do hope you try it soon regardless of if you’re vegetarian or vegan. If you do, please come back and post a comment, or share a photo with the tag: #LarderPantryandGarden.
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