Melitzanosalata - eggplant spread, the monks' way

Jul 4, 2012


      Eggplants are the basic ingredient of many summer dishes; they make wonderful combinations with tomato, garlic, onion, peppers, basil and many other summer vegetables, all producing very tasty dishes.

     Today we harvested the first eggplants of the season and the best way to taste them without too much cooking is melitzanosalảta, a spread made with roasted eggplants, olive oil, vinegar and just an idea of garlic. Roasted red peppers can  also be added for extra color and sweetness. This vegan version is called agioritiki and takes its name from the monks’ community of Athos peninsula (Agio Oros). The addition of yogurt or mayonnaise does give a rich taste but one closer to what you find in the store bought melitzanosalata.

Enough for 2

2 medium size eggplants
4tbsp olive oil
vinegar to taste
a small garlic clove or less
1tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

     The best way to roast your eggplants is to cook them unpeeled on the grill; it doesn't matter if its an electric, gas or charcoal grill. This way  they cook fast and, with charcoal, they get a smoky flavour. Cook them until soft inside. (Putting them in the oven at 170 until they are soft works too) Let them stand for a few minutes to cool just a bit before the next step.

     Cut each eggplant length wise and with a spoon remove the flesh from the skin. On a cutting board, chop it into very small pieces.

     In a bowl place  the chopped eggplant with the olive oil and gradually add all the other ingredients to suit your taste. Serve warm or cold on toasted bread.

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