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Melitzanosalata or Eggplant salad

fiery melitzanosalata with red pepper image

 

Melitzanosalata is a Greek eggplant dip made with eggplants which can be grilled over charcoal or charred over an open flame to get a smoky taste.

Variety of Greek eggplants image

Greek variety of eggplants: Tsakonikes, white and flaskes eggplants

If you cannot cook them either way, you can still grill them in the oven, until soft.  When I do that, I add some smoked paprika (sweet or hot) for the smoky taste.

Grilled eggplant image

One day I made tyrokafteri and had a leftover hot pepper.  When I made the melitzanosalata, I mashed the hot pepper as well and loved it.  Ever since, if I don’t have some fresh hot pepper, I add some harissa or chili or hot paprika.

The classic Melitzanosalata recipe is without Piperies Florinis (roasted Peppers) but when I have some at home I always love adding them as they add a sweet flavour to this already wonderful dip.

Melitzanosalat with red peppers image

Melitzanosalata or Eggplant Salad

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes on open flame or 45 minutes in the oven

Ingredients:

Yield:  1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 eggplants (depending on the type) about 500 grams (1.1 lb)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 or more cloves minced/crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • A pinch of harissa or chili powder (optional)
  • Parsley or olive to decorate (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cook the eggplants on open flame until the flesh has charred and the interior is tender, for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. Alternatively, if you are already baking something in the oven, pierce them with a fork and grill in a preheated oven to 200o C / 400o F for 40 – 60 minutes, turning them once.
  3. Allow to cool and carefully remove the charred skin.
  4. Pound the garlic with the salt using a pestle and mortar.  Mash the flesh of the eggplants using a fork.  Add the garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and paprika and olive oil and mix until creamy.  For some heat, add the harissa as well.
  5. Garnish with finely chopped parsley or an olive on top.
  6. Serve with Pita bread or vegetable sticks.

Note:

If baking them in the oven, add smoked paprika to get the smoky flavour.

If you want a smoother texture, you can purée all the ingredients in a food processor.

Feta can also be added in the dip to make it more creamy.

 

 

Fiery melitzanosalata with piperia florinis image

Fiery melitzanosalata with piperia florinis

Update:  8th January 2008.

Whilst preparing Papoutsakia (stuffed eggplants) I kept thinking what should I do with all this eggplant flesh I was scooping out of the eggplant?

Shall I make melitzanosalata (meaning eggplant salad but it is actually a dip)?   I was skeptical as I knew that to make melizanosalata, the eggplants should be pierced with a fork and baked either in the oven, grilled or best to be charcoaled so as to have a smoky taste.

Then I thought that we don’t always charcoal the eggplants, so when baking the eggplants in the oven there is no smoky taste.  Why then do we do this?   The reason is that we want the inside part to become soft and in any case we discard the outer part.     So, why not make melitzanosalata or eggplant dip?

I gave it a quick thought, thinking that I had nothing to loose as the oven had to be preheated for the papoutsakia and the worse scenario was that I would be charged a little bit more with electricity bill.   I grabbed a piece of aluminum foil and start putting the eggplants in there, added a couple tablespoons olive oil and folded them.  I baked them in the oven for about 45 minutes at 200o C / 400o F.   I tried mashing them with a fork and saw it was quite soft, so I set it aside to cool down and put the poupoutsakia in the oven to bake.

flesh of eggplants image

Note:   as you will see in the pictures the eggplants do not have many seeds inside.  If yours have seeds, you can remove them if you don’t like the seeds in the dip.

Again I kept thinking ways to prepare it.  Shall I make the classic Greek dip or shall I make an eggplant “real” salad, or shall I make half the mixture into a classic dip and the rest should I deep freeze it to prepare some more another day?   I rejected the last thought and I said to myself,“Why not make both?”

I quickly peeled three cloves of garlic, wrapped them into a small piece of aluminum foil and placed it in a corner, where the papoutsakia were baking.  I left it there for half an hour.

 

When the eggplants cooled a little, I started by mashing them and tasted them. The flavor was good and not bitter as I was afraid it could be, so now I could proceed and use the flesh.

I added the olive oil and mixed it with the fork, added salt and mixed it again until the oil was absorbed.

I then peeled and cut a small onion in two.  I cut the half  into smaller pieces and placed it in a food processor, I also peeled a clove of garlic and added that as well and pureed them.I opened the food processor but the mixture was still in small pieces.  I added a spoonful of olive oil and a spoonful of wine vinegar and half the pulp and mashed them again.  Now it was nice and creamy.  I tried it and found the taste perfect.   I did not need to add anything more.

All I had to do was to put it in a small bowl and decorated it with an olive. Et voilá!

Collage eggplant salad melitzanosalata image

Now I started preparing what I wanted to make of an eggplant salad.  I finely chopped and I mean really finely chopped the other half of the onion and added it into the eggplant.  I mashed the roasted garlic with a fork and added it as well.  I finely chopped some parsley and added two spoonfuls to the other mixture;

I peeled a ripe tomato and cut it in the middle.   Half of it I cut into small cubes and added it as well.   I added one teaspoonful of capers.  Here, I had the dilemma if I should add balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar.   I preferred the latter but I am sure that it would also be great with balsamic vinegar as well.  

Now for seasoning I added, half a teaspoon of garlic powder, smoked paprika and pepper.  I mixed them well and placed them in a small platter, which I decorated with the remaining half tomato, some olives and sprinkled some parsley on top.   Finally, I sprinkled some paprika on top as well.

The result was excellent, more than I thought it would be.

This is my entry for Leftover Tuesdays #11 hosted by Pamat Project Foodie.

Melitzanosalata and Ivy’s Eggplant Salad

Ingredients for both:

  • The flesh of five eggplants
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Salt

Additional ingredients:

For Melitzanosalata (Eggplant dip):

  • (Half of above mixture)
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 spoonful of olive oil
  • 1 spoonful of wine vinegar
  • All above, blended in multi mulinette.

For Ivy’s eggplant salad:

  • Remaining ½ of above mixture
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 spoonfuls of finely chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic (roasted)
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp capers
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Some olives

Melitzanosalata or Eggplant salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Category: Appetizer

Cuisine: Greek Cuisine

Yield: 1 cup

Melitzanosalata or Eggplant salad

Melitzanosalata is a Greek eggplant dip made with eggplants which can be grilled over charcoal or charred over an open flame to get a smoky taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 – 3 eggplants (depending on the type) about 500 grams (1.1 lb)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 or more cloves minced/crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • A pinch of harissa or chili powder (optional)
  • Parsley or olive to decorate (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the eggplants on open flame until the flesh has charred and the interior is tender, for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. Alternatively, if you are already baking something in the oven, pierce them with a fork and grill in a preheated oven to 200o C / 400o F for 40 – 60 minutes, turning them once.
  3. Allow to cool and carefully remove the charred skin.
  4. Pound the garlic with the salt using a pestle and mortar. Mash the flesh of the eggplants using a fork. Add the garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and paprika and olive oil and mix until creamy. For some heat, add the harissa as well.
  5. Garnish with finely chopped parsley or an olive on top.
  6. Serve with Pita bread or vegetable sticks.

Notes

If baking them in the oven, add smoked paprika to get the smoky flavour.

If you want a smoother texture, you can purée all the ingredients in a food processor.

Feta can also be added in the dip to make it more creamy.

https://www.kopiaste.org/2008/01/melitzanosalata-or-eggplant-salad/

Melitzanosalata or Eggplant salad image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

 

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13 Responses

  1. Peter M

    Waste not , want not. If it can be eaten, thrown nothing out.

    Melitzanosalata is one of my faves in the summer, grilled eggplants make the dish.

  2. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    Those eggplants sure are versatile, aren’t they?! I think this is great that you were able to get so much out of them! I love melitzanosalata.

  3. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    Oh and congrats on your TV appearance! I saw saw on Peter’s blog!
    🙂

  4. Ivy

    It would have been a great waste and I love how I have managed during this short period of blogging to learn and create things. I have discovered another kind of art.

  5. Ivy

    Thanks Jenn, just saw your other comment.

  6. Foodie Pam

    Great leftover transformations. Thanks for participating in leftover Tuesdays!

  7. Bellini Valli

    Eggplants are so versatile, 3 dishes with one eggplant. Nothing goes to waste. I was so impressed with all the fresh ingredients when I was in Greece. Never a day went by that I didn’t have some horta, greek salad or beets. Thank you also for the “honorary Greek” title. I love it!!!

  8. Ivy

    Thanks Val, I think you deserve it after writing so many nice things about Greece and especially about Kea. You are a real philellin (for those who don’t know it means friend of the Greeks).

  9. Cynthia

    Ivy, this looks so good, wish I could have some. I think the next time I roast eggplants, I am going to try adding the ingredients you did like the vinegar, caper, actually, I think I’ll try adding some olives also. Yum!

    Looks really delicious hon.

  10. Ivy

    Cynthia I am sure by roasting them they will be much tastier. Thanks again for sending me your choka recipes and I was very glad to see that the eggplant choka had so many similarities.

  11. Ivy

    Pam thanks for organizing the event and I am looking forward for another similar event.

  12. Ginny

    I had some leftover eggplant the other day and wished I had read this first (my creation was not as good). I must make it next time.

  13. Ivy

    It happens to me all the time to see something and wish I had seen it some days before but there is always another time. So good luck if you try it.