In Greek: μελιτζανοσαλάτα, pronounced meh-leed-zah-no-sah-LAH-tah
If you are a devoted fan of the traditional, cook the eggplant over a wood fire - or add wood chips to a charcoal grill and cook it for that deep, smoky taste. This version is easier and delivers a tasty result, and includes chopped tomatoes.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 3 medium large dark eggplant
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2-3 shallots or 5 scallions (just the bulb, no stems), minced
- 2-3 fresh tomatoes (plum if possible, do not substitute with canned), seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
Pierce the eggplant with a fork and char it on the grill, or over an open flame until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. (Alternatively, broil for 10-15 minutes.) Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath.
As soon as it can be handled, peel. The skin will come off easily by hand. Place in a bowl and chop with two knives. With a wooden spoon, stir in garlic, onions (shallots or scallions), tomatoes, and herbs. Mix the oil and lemon juice well and add slowly, with a fork or hands to work it into the eggplant (don't just add it and stir; it will separate). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve chilled or at room temperature, with pita wedges, slices of crusty bread, and/or fresh vegetables, garnished with black olives and a sprig of parsley.
Melitzanosalata goes well with salty cheeses and fish mezethes like anchovies.
Yield: about 4 cups