Melitzanosalata

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    4–6

    people
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Real Greek

The Real Greek

By Tonia Buxton

Published 2016

  • About

The aubergine is also known as the ‘eggplant’ from its smaller, plump ivory-skinned cousin grown in Asia. The Mediterranean aubergine is bigger and bulbous, glossy and deep purple, feeling heavy for its size. With a slightly smoky yet bland flavour, its flesh acts like a sponge soaking up the wonderful flavours and ingredients added in recipes. This meze is no exception!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium aubergines
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 plump cloves of garlic
  • 150 g finely chopped spring onions
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 Kalamata olives, to garnish

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C) / Gas 4. Lightly oil a large baking sheet. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, brush well with a little oil, then place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Cook for 45-50 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.
  • When the flesh is very soft, use a spoon to scoop it out into a bowl, discarding the shells. Using a hand-blender, blitz to a smooth purée, season with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice. This should make around 600–700 ml purée.
  • Meanwhile, blitz together the remaining extra virgin olive oil and garlic and set aside.
  • Stir the chopped spring onions and herbs into the aubergine purée then drizzle in enough of the garlicky olive oil to make a creamy dip. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Spread onto meze plates, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with a couple of olives per person. It is best served at room temperature.