melitzanosalata | Greek eggplant dip

This is a summer dish but I made it now at the end of winter.  S and I are so sick of winter that when I saw eggplant and Florina peppers at the farmers’ market, I couldn’t resist.  These eggplant come from the Peloponnese, the southern part of Greece, so they don’t quite count as ‘local,’ but they’re still Greek, so they’re not expensive even now.  Thank goodness, because we needed this summery dish!

This is a delicious, traditional Greek dish that looks and tastes impressive, but is extraordinarily easy to make.

Florina peppers are an integral part of this dish, so if you can’t find them, use red bell peppers instead of leaving them out.  Florina peppers are the extra-sweet fleshy red banana-shaped peppers famous throughout Northern Greece.  They’re much tastier than bell peppers but you use what you’ve got.

The only other ingredients beside the eggplant and peppers are red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, parsley, and salt & pepper.  I use fresh parsley only if I’m growing it.  So this time I used dried.  You can use either.

Preheat your broiler to maximum heat.  After washing the eggplant and peppers, puncture the eggplant with a fork in about 3 places per eggplant.  You don’t need to stab the peppers.

Arrange the vegetables on a baking sheet and pop under the broiler.  Wander off and do something else for a while.

When the house starts to smell like eggplant, flip them over and put them back in for a few more minutes.

Have no mercy on these guys.  They should be well charred and burned.

Slice off the tops and peel the charred skin off.  If it takes more than a few seconds to peel each eggplant, they aren’t charred enough!  The skin should come off very easily.

Peel the peppers too.  Don’t discard the seeds – they go into the dish.

Chop up the eggplant and pepper directly in the bowl.

Press the garlic into the bowl, and add the parsley, vinegar, and oil.

Stir everything together.  Let it sit for at least half an hour before serving.  This can go in the fridge; it will keep for around a week, and the flavors will intensify over time, so it’s a good make-ahead appetizer for a party.

Melitzanosalata

Serves 4-6

5-6 medium eggplant or 3-4 large eggplant
3-4 Florina peppers or 2 red bell peppers
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tbsp dried parsley or 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

1.  Preheat broiler to maximum heat.*  Stab each eggplant three times with a fork.  Arrange the eggplant and peppers on a baking sheet.  Broil for 30 minutes or until well charred.  Turn, broil another 10 minutes.

2.  Remove the ends and skins of the eggplant and peppers.  Chop the eggplant and pepper flesh roughly in the bowl.  Press in garlic, add parsley, vinegar, and olive oil.  Stir it all together.  Season with salt and pepper.  Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

3.  Serve with fresh bread.

*You can also cook the eggplant and peppers over an open flame, either wood, charcoal, or gas.

Nutritional Information
per serving, i.e., 1/4 of total recipe, excluding any salt you add

226 calories
5g fat (1g saturated, 4g unsaturated)
46g carbohydrate
8g protein
18g dietary fiber
0mg cholesterol
23mg sodium (1% DV)
1,578mg potassium (45% DV)
Contains a significant amount (+10% DV) of the following:
vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin C, iron, riboflavin, folate, manganese, and copper.

You may also like:
Greek lentil soup
Santorini fava
Spicy Siphnian revithada

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12 thoughts on “melitzanosalata | Greek eggplant dip

  1. Oh, this is something I love! We have a similar dish in Bosnia. I have a great tip for easy peeling of roasted peppers/eggplants. While still warm place them in a plastic bag for a few minutes and they will peel super easy.

  2. Just love your easy descriptions and great photos, a favourite dish of mine, and I get to eat it all as my husband is allergic to aubergine/eggplant, can you believe it?!

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