Aubergine dip (melitzanosalata)

Our favourite summer vegetable is aubergine. We love its texture, meaty flesh, comforting bite. This member of the nightshade family has a distinct taste when cooked, and really loves smoke. So if you ever find yourself in a barbeque, get some aubergine in there.

In Greek cuisine, aubergine is widely used (and only during the summer), in a variety of dishes such as briam, moussaka or in the all-famous melitzanosalata. Melitzanosalata, literally meaning ‘aubergine salad’ is a spread made with the cooked or smoked aubergine flesh. It exists in many other food cultures in various combinations of ingredients and flavours.

Today, we’ve prepared the classic Greek melitzanosalata for you. But don’t forget to check our less ordinary take on this summer classic, with tahini and honey.

We used white aubergines because we love their sweet taste, but any kind will do. In a variation of this recipe, you can also add finely chopped roasted red peppers, which we also recommend trying.

Serves 4-6

2 large aubergines (approx. 800g)
1 tbsp olive oil (or more, to taste)
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar (or more, to taste)
1 small clove garlic (or more, to taste)
1 small bunch of parsley
salt, pepper
1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat your oven at 180C.

Using a fork, pierce your aubergines all around. Place them in a roasting tray and roast for about an hour, until very tender inside. Remove from the oven and let them cool down a bit.

Once the aubergines are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and place it in a bowl. Drain any excess liquid.

Using a fork, mash up the aubergine flesh. Finely chop the parsley and add it to your bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and roasted red pepper (if using). Grate in the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything well together using your fork.

Taste and adjust for seasoning, vinegar, olive oil or garlic.

Serve with more olive oil!

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