Melitzanosalata: Greek aubergine dip is a wonderful additional dip to the famous trio of Greek dips: taramasalata, hummus and tzatziki, enjoyed as a starter or with a main course.
Smoky, tasty and perfect with pitta bread, this is one of my Dad’s legendary recipes.
2 large aubergines
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed,
1 teaspoon tahini paste
juice of 1/2 lemon or 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
125ml extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
A small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
A few strips of pepper, grilled
Preheat the oven to 180
Place aubergines on an oven tray. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until soft. Alternatively char grill or grill the aubergines until the skin blisters and the flesh is soft.
Remove the aubergines from the oven or grill and cool slightly. Peel them under the cold tap water and chop the flesh roughly.
Combine with onion, garlic and tahini in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the aubergine flesh and process for a few more seconds. Transfer to a bowl and add the lemon juice, the rest of the olive oil and mix in well. Add seasoning to taste.
Refrigerate the aubergine dip for several hours or overnight.
Serve with crusty bread or pitta bread.
Garnish with parsley, olives and grilled strips of pepper.
The dip can be served as a start or as part of a main course.
*Note:* You may add 2 tablespoons of yoghurt or mayonnaise and 75g of breadcrumbs or one skinned ripe tomato in the blender when making the dip. Instead of using a blender to process the aubergine dip, you may chop the aubergine flesh finely with a large knife and combine the other ingredient.