Melitzanosalata Recipe: How to Make This Delicious Eggplant Dip
In addition to being delicious and simple to make, this dish is great for vegetarians because it’s made with just three ingredients: eggplant, garlic and mayonnaise (plus a splash of lemon juice). Not only does this recipe taste great with pita bread but you can also serve Melitzanosalata with crackers or crudite.
As a kid, my dad used to make the best dip for pita bread. He called it melitzanosalata, which I think translates to eggplant salad.
What is Melitzanosalata
Melitzanosalata is an eggplant dip or spread that’s prepared with roasted eggplant, garlic and olive oil. Often served as an appetizer or side dish, melitzanosalata is often called eggplant caviar due to its texture and appearance. Melitzanosalata can be served with pita bread or crackers.
- 1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise)
- juice of half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- salt and pepper to taste
1 Japanese eggplants
Japanese eggplants are long, thin, and purple. They have a milder flavor than regular eggplants. They’re also known as Asian eggplants or Chinese eggplants. Japanese eggplants are often used in Asian cooking and can be found at most grocery stores.
4 cloves garlic, minced (or to taste)
Garlic is a natural antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal. It’s also a natural immune booster. Garlic helps your body fight viruses by stimulating the production of white blood cells. Garlic is great for fighting infections such as colds, flu and sore throats because of its antiviral properties. It can even be taken preventatively to ward off illness before it even occurs!
Additionally (and most importantly), garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to its ability to help break down fat deposits in the arteries.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise. You can substitute with vegan mayonnaise, aioli (a garlic-flavored mayonnaise), yogurt (full-fat or fat-free), sour cream, Greek yogurt and hummus.
Juice of 1 lemon
For lemon juice, use a lemon that is not too ripe. It should be neither sour nor bitter. Do not select one with a sweet taste or strong acidity either. When you are squeezing your lemon, make sure to press it lightly so as not to squish the pulp inside.
- Cut the eggplants into slices and place them in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes to draw out their bitter juices. Rinse and pat dry before transferring to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
- Mince the garlic, then add it to a mixing bowl along with the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Stir until combined.
- Add the onion to this mixture.
- Stir gently until well incorporated.
- Add some olive oil if you have time; otherwise just toss everything together right away.
- Spread out on your baking sheet (you’ll probably need two) so that they’re not touching each other too much but each has plenty of room around its edges—you want them all to brown nicely as they cook! Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top (they should still be firm).
- If you can find Japanese eggplant, use it. It’s more delicate than other types of eggplant and has a sweeter flavor, which makes for an extra-delicious dip.
- If you don’t have a food processor, it’s not a dealbreaker. Just mince the garlic and finely chop or grate the eggplant before putting it through the food processor.
- You can add more garlic if you want—it’s totally up to personal preference! Same goes for lemon juice: add some more if you like your melitzanosalata on the zestier side.
If you don’t have Japanese eggplants, use regular ones. If you don’t have lemon juice, use vinegar or lemon zest. If you don’t have mayonnaise in the fridge and there’s no time to make some from scratch (or if you don’t like mayonnaise), sour cream works just fine too. And if pita bread is out of stock at your local grocery store, crackers are an excellent substitute for this recipe.
Serve at room temperature with pita bread, crackers or crudite.
This melitzanosalata recipe is a great way to use up your eggplant and make tasty appetizers that are easy on your wallet. This dish is perfect for sharing with friends while watching sports or having a quiet evening at home. I hope you enjoy! Serve it over grilled meats, including fish, or beside your favorite bread or pita as the ideal starter. For the greatest outcomes, be sure to read my advice!