In Greek: μελιτζανοσαλάτα, pronounced meh-leed-zah-no-sah-LAH-tah
I have friends who try to save time and make this in a blender or with a hand mixer, but it's very easy as is and gives a much more authentic texture and taste when mixed by hand. The key to a great tasting result is a well-charred eggplant. If possible, cook it over a wood-burning fire or grill with wood chips added.
- Gather the ingredients.
- Pierce the eggplant with a fork and char on the grill, or over an open flame (alternatively, broil for 10-15 minutes) until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath.
- As soon as it can be handled, peel by hand (the skin will come off easily), and transfer to a bowl. Chop the pulp into small pieces with a knife, and mash with a fork. With a wooden spoon, stir in oil and vinegar slowly, alternating between them, until well blended. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature, with pita wedges, slices of crusty bread, and/or fresh vegetables garnished with black olives and a sprig of parsley. This goes well with salty cheeses and fish mezethes like anchovies.