If you’ve never tried Melitzanosalata you’re in for a treat! This Greek Eggplant Dip uses just a handful of ingredients and makes a huge platter to share.
Today I’m showing you how to make Melitzanosalata, a rustic Greek eggplant dip made from roasted eggplants and a handful of Mediterranean ingredients (like olive oil and parsley).
It’s also easy to make ahead and can be served at any temp, so it’s perfect for sharing at parties. Grab your pita, crackers, and your friends and get started. You can easily adjust the flavors by using different amounts of oil, garlic, and lemon.
What is Melitzanosalata?
Melitzanosalata (pronounced meh-lee-tza-no-sah-LAH-ta), quite literally means eggplant salad (melitzana meaning eggplant, and salata meaning salat). It originates in Greek cuisine as an accompaniment to pita bread and classic mains, like souvlaki and kebabs.
Ingredients for Melitzanosalata
You’ll recognize all these classic flavors from many Greek dishes and recipes! It’s easy to keep the pantry staples on hand and simply grab the fresh produce when you have a craving.
- Eggplant: This veggie is a classic ingredient in Greek dishes. Select large, unblemished eggplant with just enough give to them when squeezed.
- EVOO: Reach for your best bottle of extra virgin olive oil since it is part of the “finishing” flavor of this dip.
- Parsley: Use mainly the leaves and not the bottom stems for best flavor and texture.
- Lemon Juice: A quick hit of this bright acidity will tie everything together.
- Garlic: Of course – you can never have enough garlic!
Which type of parsley should you use? Stick with flat-leaf parsley (aka Italian parsley) here. Curly parsley has far less flavor and should primarily be used for a garnish, whereas flat parsley has loads of flavor!
How to make melitzanosalata
Nothing could be easier – simply roast your eggplant and mash everything together.
Step 1: Roast
Give the eggplant a poke with a fork – make sure and do it plenty of times, all over. This will help all the steam escape as it roasts. I like to flip it over a few times during cooking so it cooks evenly.
Fire it up!
Kick things up a notch by roasting the eggplant over an open fire, like your gas stovetop burner or grill. Charring the eggplant will give it a more smoky flavor that works perfectly in this dip!
This large nonstick sheet pan is one of my everyday favorites!
Step 2: Drain
Once it’s cool enough to handle, peel away the skin. Cut into chunks and let it rest in a colander for at least 15 minutes to allow for any excess moisture to drain off.
Step 3: Mash
Add the eggplant chunks to a bowl and mash them up! The texture is your preference here – use a potato masher and leave some larger chunks, or go ahead and puree in the food processor. Stop anywhere in between when it’s to your liking!
Step 4: Stir
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine!
Add some garnish for a pretty look and set out some different items to dip.
Fresh Is Best: I recommend using fresh lemon and fresh garlic here. It takes a bit more time to peel garlic cloves vs a jar, and to cut a lemon to squeeze, but the best flavor comes from the best ingredients.
Eggplant Variety: I like to use Italian eggplant, but if you can only find other types of eggplant, like globe or Japanese, those will work too – they are just smaller so you’ll need a few more to get up to the volume needed.
Enjoy the Flavors
Opa! Make up a couple of these Mediterranean recipes and have a Greek fest with your friends.
- 5 Minute Tzatziki Sauce will give you a refreshing pairing for dipping veggies.
- Greek Baked Feta is warm and comforting. Just imagine these dips side by side in a fresh pita!
- Roasted Broccoli with Lemon ties in the same flavors, and will really take your veggie side dish up a notch.
- 2 lbs eggplant about 2 medium eggplants
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 60 mL
- ¼ cup Italian (flat leaf) parsley finely chopped, 20 g
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice 30 mL
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Pinch each salt and pepper
- Roast: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Prick the eggplants all over with a fork. Set on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, flipping the eggplant a few times during cooking. It's finished when it's very soft and the skin is blistered.
- Drain: Let eggplant cool enough to handle, then peel off the skin. Cut into chunks and place in a colander. Let drain for at least 15 minutes.
- Mash: Transfer eggplant to a bowl and use a potato masher to mash it to your desired texture (I like it a bit chunky, but you could also mash it into a paste, or even food process it into a puree).
- Stir: Stir in all remaining ingredients. Serve hot or cold with crackers, pita bread, or sliced vegetables!