THIS fresh-tasting spread comes from the island of Tinos. Each year, thousands of Greeks visit the island on August 15, the Virgin Mary’s Assumption, to see a legendary miracle-performing icon in its cathedral. But, although the island has beautiful old villages and excellent beaches, these visitors seldom go beyond the main square of the port. The countryside is scattered with stone dovecotes that resemble modern sculptures emerging from the reddish brown hills. Unlike most islands of the Cyclades, Tinos produces very interesting fresh cow’s milk cheeses, which are left to drain in wonderful presses carved from white marble.
The recipe is adapted from one by
Preheat the broiler.
Rub the eggplants with a little of the oil, place on a baking sheet and broil, turning often, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the skin chars and turns black all over. Let the eggplants cool, then peel them and chop the flesh; drain in a colander.
In a blender or a food processor, combine
Finely chop the remaining parsley leaves. Place the eggplant flesh in a medium bowl and stir in the parsley-scallion mixture, then add the
Just before serving, fold the tomatoes, if using, into the eggplant mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with parsley leaves and serve with the bread.
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