MELITZANOSALATA - EGGPLANT DIP
Mezze platters are very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. They are usually served at the beginning of each meal and feature a few dips with grilled pita wedges, and finger foods to munch on while you sip some wine or a cocktail. This grilled eggplant dip is a popular item in most mezze platters and it’s surprisingly simple to make at home.
Making the eggplant dip begins with bringing the grill to high heat. I’m not kidding when I say this is the longest part of making the dip – grilling the vegetables. The eggplant and red pepper should be grilled until they are charred and collapsed. The idea of this is to cook all the vegetables all the way through and release the water from the eggplant. The grilling also infuses the dip with an incredible smokey chipotle-like flavor that tastes incredible. When I served this at the restaurant customers always asked me if there was chipotle powder in the dip – there was not!
Once you’ve prepared the vegetables and really drained the water out of the eggplant you are almost done. Preparing the dip just takes minutes after that and it’s ready to be served. I like to serve it with grilled pita wedges. I usually grilled the pita right after I remove the eggplant from the grill to keep it easy.
We always served this dip with mezze platters at our restaurant and I often make it when I entertain at home. It’s very easy to make ahead of time and keep the fridge until you are ready to serve. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before you are ready to put it out for guests. It tastes better this way. I hope you make this for your family and friends soon – it's a great dip for everyone to enjoy!
MELITZANOSALATA - EGGPLANT DIP
This traditional eggplant dip is typically served as a mezze before a meal or as part of a light snack. I serve it with grilled pita or baked pita chips. It’s very easy to make and is perfect for outdoor parties at summer!
Makes about 6-8 servings
2 large eggplants
1 red pepper
3-4 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
½ bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
Grilled pita for serving
Bring a grill to high heat and place the eggplant and red pepper directly on top of the grate over the heat.
Allow the vegetables to cook completely, about 8 minutes per side, turning the vegetables as needed so they are evenly cooked. The eggplant should be totally soft and it’s okay if it bursts. The red pepper should also be black on the outside and completely soft. When they are finished cooking use tongs to transfer them to a large bowl and allow them to cool.
Add the olive oil and garlic to a food processor and finely chop the garlic.
Set a fine mesh strainer over a mixing bowl. Carefully peel the charred skin off the eggplant and add the cooked interior to the fine mesh sieve. Let it sit there as the water drains off the eggplant completely. Use your hands to press the eggplant down to make sure all the water is drained out. You want to drain out as much as possible.
Peel the charred skin off the red pepper and discard. Finely chop the red pepper.
Set the drained eggplant on a chopping board and give it a fine chop. Add it to a serving bowl. Stir in the garlic olive oil, parsley, scallions, and chopped red pepper. Then stir in the vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Mix until everything is smooth and well incorporated.
Serve the dip with grilled pita wedges and enjoy!
Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203.658.8659.