Summer it seems has come to an end here in Athens, rain, thunderstorms and cloudy skies are sending a clear message, even though just a couple of days ago we were at the beach. It seems fitting to share one last summery recipe for the year, and that is melitzanosalata, basically an eggplant dip, Greek style. This version is simple both in preparation and ingredients, You simply bake the eggplant in the oven, no need for grilling.
We usually order this at restaurants and spread on bread. It is great to serve with rusks or pita and you can also use it as a spread on sandwiches. In Greece there are several versions of this dip and some include yogurt, lemon and walnuts, so you may encounter a creamier or whiter style. This recipe is done all by hand and no mixer or food processor is required.
Eggplant, as I’ve said before is one of those vegetables that is rich in soluble fiber which is the type of fiber that lowers cholesterol, along with the olive oil and garlic which are great sources of antioxidants and the good fat, this dip is definitely heart healthy, so, eat up with guilt-free!
Greek Eggplant Dip – Melitzanosalata
- 1 pound eggplant
- 1 red pepper (not spicy)
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 handful of parsley chopped
- Preheat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius).
- Puncture eggplant and pepper with a fork and place on a pan. Roast for about an hour until soft.
- Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle them. Cut and scoop out the inside of the eggplant.
- Empty on flat plate and smash with a fork for a few minutes, until blended.
- Dice the pepper and add to the eggplant and mix well.
- Place mixture in a bowl and add the garlic and parsley. Than add the olive oil, mixing well so that it is absorbed.
- Add the vinegar and mix well. Taste and add salt as needed.
- Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.