Eggplant season is during summer in Greece and therefore tasty and inexpensive. Yes we can buy eggplant all year long but the quality and taste is not the same.
Greeks use eggplant in many recipes... one of the most known is the famous Moussaka, internationally known.
When handling eggplant it is important to work quickly to prevent oxidation . This is caused by the iron. Eggplant is very rich in iron and therefore very healthy.
A very common salad in Greek restaurants is the Eggplant Salad...
I am herewith including the recipe by our Vefa Alexiadou who is Greece's Betty Crocker!
You will need :
Serves 4-6 as a side dish.
- 1.5 kg black, firm, shiny eggplant. (She uses 1 kg but I used 1.5 kg because I love eggplant. all other ingredients are the same).
- Salt to taste.
- 2-3 cloves of garlic crushed into a paste.
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar.
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley.
- 1 hot chili finely chopped.
- 1 medium tomato cut in wedges for decoration.
- Some black olives (optional).
- Cook the eggplant over hot coals or on the stove top grill on high heat and keep turning to cook and sort of "burn" the peel. The eggplant will soften and feel hollow when cooked and the peel has taken this smoked, burnt look. This needs a bit of patience to make sure the eggplant is cooked from all sides.
- Turn off heat, and transfer eggplant under cold running water till cool to the touch.
- Peal quickly to prevent blackening of the eggplant.
- Place in a colander to drip off excess liquids.
- Place in a blender and combine salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, parsley (keeping some for garnish at the end), chili,
- Using the pulse button of the machine, pulse to nearly a pulp still keeping some chunks eggplant if possible.
Serve with meats, fish, poultry or by itself as a dip.