Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weekend Cooking...Greek Eggplant

One evening recently, I had the TV on, looking for something interesting to watch and saw a show about cooking in Mykonos. Hey, I was Mykonos!!
Seems the show part of a series called Cooking Odyssey, on PBS.

"A culinary television series that showcases the wondrous sights, sounds and tastes of Greece. Embark on a Grecian odyssey to explore the rich and authentic tastes and history of Greek cuisine."

Sadly, I only caught one part of the multipart series but happily it included what I though looked like an easy and tasty recipe.
And you know what? It is!

I roasted my eggplant on my charcoal BBQ, and I do think the smoky grilling add a nice touch, but as the recipe says, you can cook it under the broiler too.
Also, as usual, I added a bit more garlic than the recipe called for, but that is up to your personal taste.

The eggplant is delicious as soon as you make it, but I think it is even better after a day or so when the flavors have had a chance to meld together a bit. It is a nice dip, with crackers or pita, as an appetizer, with some Greek cheese, maybe some hummus, stuffed grape leaves, some olives..  but I found it is also great with grilled chicken or fish.

In Greek, this is called μελιτζανοσαλάτα, pronounced meh-leed-zah-no-sah-LAH-tah

Greek Eggplant Dip


  • 3 medium large dark eggplant
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 shallots, 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

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I'm not a big fan of eggplant but this does look good.

  2. My kids love eggplant, they'd love it. Looks so fresh, and so good with those chopped tomatoes!

  3. I love eggplant but I happen to have a very well developed talent for picking out eggplants that are firm and even on the outside, and then when you get them home there is a big rotten part on the inside. So I have given up. But Trader Joe's now has a prepared eggplant dip that is pretty good (for impaired buyers such as myself).

  4. I love eggplant and this dip looks like the perfect choice for an appetizer over this long weekend! Thanks for inspiring me.

  5. Love Greek food, so this one looks like a winner! Happy weekend!

  6. Not a fan of Greek food (except Baklava of course), but love eggplant and that does look good! I love all kinds of salsa-y foods.

    Here’s my WC

  7. This looks really tasty :) I really like eggplant, so I might try it :)

  8. The recipe does look pretty easy, but it has eggplant in it, so I won't be fixing it any time soon.

  9. We adore eggplant over here, so now all I have to do is wait for my CSA to add some eggplants to my box ...

  10. Yum, I do love a good eggplant dish
    - I usually use it for making ratatouille! Maybe I should be brave and try something new like this!

  11. I love Greek food and your dish looks delicious.


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