Melitzanosalata is a Greek roasted eggplant dip. It’s simple, and loaded with flavour made by roasting eggplant and blending it with garlic, shallot, lemon juice, vinegar and parsley. This recipe was originally published on July 16, 2012 and updated on June 18, 2020.
Metlizanosalata is a dip that I grew up eating. Now, I didn’t necessarily love it when I was a kid (eggplant is bitter!), but now, it’s something that I really enjoy.
I love sharing my family’s Greek recipes with you, and this one is adapted from my mom’s favourite eggplant dip. I grew up spending my summer’s in Greece and Mediterranean flavours are where I find most of my cooking inspiration.
The key to making this dip is roasting the eggplant for enough time that it becomes soft and loses a bit of the bitterness. My trick to speed up the process is to slice the eggplant in half before roasting.
How to balance the bitterness from the eggplant
In this dip it’s a combination of fat, salt and acid that help to balance the bitterness from the eggplant. Fat in the form of olive oil, and acid in two forms. I use a combination of both red wine vinegar and lemon juice to add brightness and acidity to the dip.
I’ve tried testing it using just one or the other, but I’ve found that the combination is what helps make my mom’s recipe better than others I’ve found online.
I’m using a shallot in this recipe, which is not traditionally used in Greek recipes. My mom’s version calls for a tablespoon or two of chopped yellow onion, but I found a shallot leads to less waste and also adds enough bite to the dip.
If you don’t have shallots available, you could opt to use 1-2 tablespoons of chopped onion. Start with one and taste to see if you need more onion.
Typically, melitzanosalata is served with pita, but I also love to serve it with crackers and crunchy vegetables like celery or carrots.
Styling tip for melitzanosalata
So this is a very delicious but also very brown dip. I grew up eating it served with chopped tomatoes and parsley on top and a little extra drizzle of olive oil. After all, we eat with our eyes!
Melitzanosalata (Roasted Eggplant Dip)
- 1 eggplant, halved lengthwise
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place halved eggplant, cut side up, in a 9×13 or 8×8 baking pan (depending on the size of your eggplant). Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until eggplant is fully cooked and very soft. Allow eggplant to cool until it is safe to handle.
- When cool enough to handle, scoop out the inside of the eggplant, discarding the skin.
- In a food processor, process scooped eggplant with remaining olive oil, vinegar, parsley, shallot, garlic and remaining salt. Taste and add more acid as needed.