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Melitzanes Santorinis (White Santorini Eggplants)

My favourite eggplants until now were “tsakonikes” which I thought were the only ones which were sweet.   I avoided cooking with the big round purple ones, as I heard that they were bitter. I’ve been seeing white eggplants at the market place for a long time but had never tried them until recently.  When I saw them at the farmers’ market a few weeks ago, I stopped at a stall and as I didn’t know much about them I asked the farmer if they  were bitter and if they should be put in water and salt before cooking them, as  we do for the purple ones.   I saw a smile on his face and he said “Are you kidding?   Greek eggplants are not bitter and don’t need this procedure.    Even more, these  Santorini eggplants not only have a very sweet flesh, they do not have seeds and do not absorb oil!!   Try them and you will be here next week as well.  ”

I didn’t want to hear any more to be convinced to buy them and he was right, I was back next week and bought them again as I am totally in love with them.

I wanted to share a few of the recipes I made and to begin with I had bookmarked Rosabella’s Eggplant sandwiches which reminded me of some eggplant rolls, Rola Melitzanas me Feta,  I used to make but which I haven’t made for a long time as those were deep fried.   I combined the two recipes  and made them into sandwiches following Rosabella’s recipe but using Greek cheeses.  For the coating I added some roasted sesame seeds and almonds in the breadcrumbs which I had leftover from another recipe, remember the anthotyro bites!.

They were delicious.  I only regret that I did not make more, but that day the main dish was Briam,  plus I had leftover louvana (fava), which I made into a dip and marinated sardines.

The recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

Melitzanosalata me Piperies Florinis

Melitzanosalata is a dip made with eggplants which have been grilled with skin on, on open flame until the skin blisters.    The skin is then removed, as well as the seeds and the eggplant is pureed.  I did not use a food processor but I used a fork to puree them.  I pounded the garlic with the salt, added vinegar and olive oil, black pepper and pureed the roasted red peppers (piperies Florinis)  again with a fork and mixed all the ingredients together.

This is an older recipe which I had not posted and used Tsakonikes eggplants but  I wanted to show you another use of this delicious eggplant in which of course there will not be any visible seeds, although when making the dip I removed as many seeds as I could.

Melitzanosalata me Piperies Florinis (eggplant dip) – Recipe by Ivy

Roasting time: 10 minutes

Preparation time: 10 minutes


  • 2 eggplants, roasted
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Grilled Piperies florinis


Each time I make Briam it’s different because this is made with almost any vegetables you have at home.

This time I used potatoes, baby courgettes, Santorini eggplants, carrots, various colours bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, spring onions, garlic, parsley and dill.  All these were finely cut, seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and added ½ cup olive oil and ¼ cup lemon juice.  No water was added and they were baked in the oven mixing the vegetables a few times until they were cooked.

I had some leftover Santorini eggplants,  baby courgettes which were about 10 cm long and peppers,  so I grilled them and used them in a pasta dish.

Penne with Grilled vegetables and Pesto

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Grilling time: about 20 minutes

Cooking time:  15 – 20 minutes

Serves: 5 – 6


  • 500 grams mini penne
  • 2 white eggplants
  • 6 small courgettes
  • Different colours bell peppers, red, green, yellow, orange  (1/4 of each colour)
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons mint pesto
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Dried oregano and thyme
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped



Boil pasta according to package instructions, about 15 minutes and same time start grilling.  Different vegetables will take different amounts of time to cook.    If pasta is cooked before the grilling is over drain and fill the saucepan with pasta with cold water.

Cut the eggplants into 1 cm round slices, deseed the bell peppers and cut them into large pieces and cut the courgettes lengthwise,  in the middle.  Put them in a large bowl and add salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and 2 tablespoons olive oil, toss well and marinate them for a few minutes.

Heat the grill and brush with olive oil. Start grilling beginning with the eggplants as they turn brown if left for a long time.  Remove vegetables when the skin begins to blister and the middle becomes soft.

When done set aside to cool and then cut them into smaller pieces.

Half the cherry tomatoes and brush a non stick sautéing pan with the olive oil marinade and sauté them as well.  Drain pasta.

Remove the tomatoes, add the cooked pasta, as well as the pesto and mix well.  Finally mix in the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with some finely chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper on top.

Toasted sandwich with Grilled vegetables

The amount I grilled was more than we needed for the pasta dish but I am glad that there were leftovers as in the evening we made toasted sandwiches.    In the evenings I eat light so I made a toasted sandwich with low fat cheese and smoked turkey and when toasted I added some grilled vegetables.

The best toasted sandwich I ever ate.   Healthy, light, filling and delicious.

After that I have grilled vegetables again, especially to use in my sandwiches.  They keep well in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days and you don’t have to reheat them or remove them from the refrigerator before as when added in the hot toast, they will immediately reheat.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!!

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49 Responses

  1. Oh, yummy! I am a big fan of eggplants! Everything looks fantastic.


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  2. I've been waiting for local eggplants to appear at the markets. All of these dishes look delicious! I want to try the eggplant sandwiches.

  3. Joanne

    This is brilliant! Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables (or fruit depending on whether you are a botanist). I really really like the way you coated the eggplant with toasted almonds and sesame seeds. The halloumi, feta and eggplant sandwiches look fantastic! Welcome back Ivy.

    • Thanks for the welcome Joanne but I am not really back though, although I do miss blogging. I will be posting, but not regularly. Eggplants, like tomatoes are fruit.

  4. I don't think I have ever seen totally white eggplants and your description of the ones from Santorini is very intriguing. I love eggplants and therefore my mouth is watering as I look at the photos of all the dishes you made with them.
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  5. Love this eggplant treat! Looks so fingerlicking-good!
    Congratulations to your daughter!

    • Thank you Angie. For those who may be wondering, my daughter got good grades for university.

  6. Everything looks so good Ivy – especially the eggplant sandwich with halloumi and feta! YUMMMM! I have tasted white eggplants before, and I liked them.

  7. Ivy

    Even though here we are eating eggplants from the garden every other day, you are making my mouth water with these white eggplants! I have to try them now! I will be asking if we can plant them. Love that eggplant sandwich you made with the sesame seeds and it looks so crispy even though oven-baked!

    Congratulations on your daughter making the good grades for admission to university; if Greece is anything like Lebanon then I realize it is quite an accomplishment, as competition is fierce here as well.

    • Thank you Joumana. Yes, competition is very fierce and especially the Universities in Athens need a very high grade to be admitted.

  8. Oh! Ivy, I never seen this kind of eggplant 🙂 So cute! Talking about Santorini, we will be there for 5 days in October…I really look forward to the trip.
    Congratulations to your daughter…what a great accomplishment…

    • Thank you Juliana.That's great, you are so lucky, it's one of the most beautiful places on earth.

  9. I just visited Santorini a month ago and I was sad to see that these famed white eggplants were not yet in season. Oh well, I suppose I'll just have to go again!

    • Pity you missed them but as you say it's an excuse to visit again 🙂

  10. what a great post with some wonderful food!!! I do love using eggplant, and your Briam looks like a greek version of a Roasted Ratatouille to me….I love it!
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    • Chef Dennis, yes Briam or tourlou-tourlou as it is also called, which means mixed up, is somewhat similar to Ratatouille but I think that roasting all these vegetables brings out .

  11. Congratulations on your daughter's good grades. I know, I've been there, it is quite an accomplishment. Hope everything is ok. I was brought up with most of these dishes, they are all very dear to me.
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    • Thanks Katerina. Now we'll have to wait a couple of months and see.

  12. Antonella

    White "ghostie" eggplants!!!
    If I'll ever repeat Mediterranea page I think I'll ask a recipe with this Santorini's treasure! 😉

    Turkey joined Mediterranea 🙂

  13. Ivy…You certainly have been quite the busy bee in the kitchen ;o) Great meals.
    I'm a big fan of white eggplants as well as the fat light purple 'Sicilian eggplants'…they have similar traits.
    I like the combo you used with the haloumi and feta cheeses…I'll try it next time. I too made Rosie's eggplants in the oven. I put Ricotta, Fontina and a little Parmesan…yummy.

    I do hope that all the uproar in Greece lately is not affecting your daily life too much.

    Have a fabulous weekend and flavourful wishes,
    My recent post Fig Nut Torte cake and Gluten Free

    • Thank you Claudia. If you are referring to the economic crisis, well it has affected everyone, one way or the other.

  14. I think I have seen these white eggplants around but I did not pick it up. I will the next 🙂

  15. Whoa baby I love what you've done with those cute white eggplants!

  16. we don't have white eggplants here…your meals are very good!
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  17. I love eggplant and plant them in the garden every year, despite the fact that not a SINGLE plant has produced for us. Ever. This year I planted a white eggplant as well because I had never seen such a thing before! Of course the white eggplant is slowly withering, as are all of our other eggplants, but now I'm even MORE upset about it!

    • What a shame Tina. Maybe next year.

  18. je ne connais pas cette variété d'aubergines mais ça doit être très gouteux
    ta préparation me met en appétit
    bonne journée

  19. An eggplant that does not absorb oil. I'm sold. Wish I could find them here.

  20. I thought you were taking a break from blogging! You couldn't stay away huh? 🙂
    Your eggplant recipe is amazing!! If only I could get my hands on some of those Santorini eggplants…
    Nice to have you back 🙂

    • Thank you Magda. I am not "100%" back yet as we shall be going away again soon but in between shall be posting a few recipes.

  21. Amazing recipe!!!I would love to try that white eggplant.

  22. Wowo all the dishes look so so delicous ivy. This is one egg plant i have never seen.
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  23. What wonderful recipes you have. I like your blog very much. That is why you have a Sunshine Award from me. Please, pass by to receive it when you have time.
    My recent post De suflet- Flori si un premiu fara reguli For your soul- Flowers and an award with no rules

    • Thank you very much for the award. I am greatly honoured.

  24. cheffresco

    Everything looks so good! Esp the eggplant sandwiches! Yum!

  25. MaryMoh

    Wow….this is the first time I see white eggplant. Looks like it's albino eggplant. Your dish looks delicious. If I see this I would buy to try cos I love eggplant.
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  26. it was very interesting to read.

    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?

    And you et an account on Twitter?

  27. I've never seen those white eggplants before! Looks great!
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  28. wow! White egg plants?!? I only tried the plum-ish color one but never the white ones! Interesting. You made delicious meals out of it !!! love the different dishes!!

    PS: Have a lovely weekend!

  29. Nadji

    Un menu très gourmand. J'aime beaucoup.
    Par contre ,je n'ai encore jamais cuisiné l'aubergine blanche.
    A tester.
    Bonnes vacanvces.

  30. Hey there Ivy! Hope that all is OK, and that life gives you some time to smell the roses soon. This looks delish – I love Greek food. My Mum went to a Greek family for work yesterday, and the grandmother cooked stuffed zucchinis and stuffed eggplant – not something that appealed to Mum, but I was going “yes please!!!”.

  31. I didn't know eggplant could be bitter. We get a lot of varieties here including really big purple ones which are very tasty and seedless. I've never seen these completely white ones before.

    I know what it is like to be busy with other things and try and find time for blogging. Take care, Ivy.

  32. hi ivy
    i have seen recently these whites eggplants by my fresh markets now i know how I should have cooked them !! hope you are not too disturbed by the oil transporter strike !! Pierre

  33. i made the melitzanosalata…but with black eggplants!
    it was fantastic!

    • Thank you. Glad you liked it.

  34. Wow – I love the look of these white eggplants.
    We don't get anything like that here in Australia!

  35. michael

    oh my god! I wonder if I could grow those here in the states?

  36. Thanks I am bookmarking this.