Melitzanosalata, or Greek Eggplant Dip, is a simple yet tasty vegan dish of roasted eggplant, garlic, oil, and lemon juice. It’s perfect spread on toasted bread, or as party of a larger Greek meze party!
Any eggplant (also called aubergine) lovers out there? Hands up!!
I have always liked eggplant recipes and learned more ways to cook it when I took a cooking class while in Athens. (Check out How to See Athens in 48 Hours). We made Melitzanosalata, a Greek eggplant dip recipe.
I absolutely love the nuanced flavors in this Melitzanosalata. The smoky, earthy undertones of the roasted eggplant are perfectly elevated by the sharp zing of garlic and fresh lemon juice. The extra virgin olive oil ties it all together with a velvety richness. And when you get a bite with the optional olives and parsley, it’s like a little party in your mouth, offering pops of brininess and fresh herbal notes. It’s a harmonious blend of flavors that I find irresistibly delicious.
Table of Contents
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Eggplants: The foundation of the dip, providing an earthy, smoky flavor and the main texture.
Garlic: Adds a kick of pungency and aroma, enhancing the dip’s overall complexity of flavors.
Extra virgin olive oil: Lends richness and smoothness, balancing the earthy flavors with its own fruity notes.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice: Infuses the dip with acidity and brightness, lightening the richness and enhancing the flavors.
What is Melitzanosalata?
Melitzanosalata is a classic Greek appetizer made of broiled or fried eggplant, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. It is an eggplant dip that can be served as an appetizer or a side dish. In other languages, it’s known by different names. In English, it’s called eggplant caviar while its French name is caviar aubergine.
I knew it was time to share an eggplant recipe on the blog, so I went with my gut and decided on this Melitzanosalata recipe.
Well, here it is folks. If you can make guacamole, you can make melitzanosalata, a tasty Mediterranean eggplant dish.
How to Make Eggplant Dip
Step #1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the eggplants on a foil-lined baking sheet and prick a few times with a fork.
Step #2: Roast in the pre-heated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, turning every 15 minutes, until charred and soft.
Step #3: Allow the eggplant to rest until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin away from the flesh (if this proves difficult, simple slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the meat).
Step #4: Roughly chop the flesh and place in a colander or sieve to drain for 15 minutes.
Step #5: Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl and gently mash with a fork.
Step #6: Add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir well, taste, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Step #7: Chill for one hour; serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with whole olives and a sprinkling of parsley.
How to serve this Eggplant Dip
I love serving this eggplant dip alongside some pita bread or crostini’s. You can even add some crumbled feta cheese and shredded onion on top to add in more delicious Greek flavors. But it is also just as good by simply eating a spoonful! The choice is yours.
- Quality of Ingredients: Use the freshest ingredients possible. Fresh garlic and freshly squeezed lemon juice make a noticeable difference in the final flavor.
- Oven-Roasting: Make sure to roast the eggplant until it’s soft and its skin is slightly charred. This enhances its smoky flavor, which is key to this dish.
- Draining: Don’t skip the step where you let the chopped eggplant flesh sit in a colander. This drains out excess moisture, making for a thicker, more concentrated dip.
- Seasoning: Always taste the dip after you’ve mixed in the initial seasoning. It’s much better to adjust the salt and pepper to your liking before chilling the dip, as the flavors will meld over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Melitzanosalata comes from the Greek words “melitzana,” which means eggplant, and “salata,” which means salad. It’s essentially an “eggplant salad,” although it’s more of a dip or spread.
Yes, the recipe is vegan as it doesn’t include any animal products.
While both are eggplant-based dips, Baba Ganoush typically includes tahini and sometimes yogurt, whereas Melitzanosalata does not.
The eggplant should be soft and its skin should be slightly charred.
If you like heat, you can add a dash of red pepper flakes or a bit of minced jalapeño.
Yes, making it a few hours ahead allows the flavors to meld together, improving the taste.
Yes, it’s relatively low in carbohydrates and could fit into a low-carb or keto diet.
If you find yourself with leftover Melitzanosalata, you’re in luck because this dip stores quite well! Simply place the remaining dip in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It should keep well for up to five days. I recommend serving it at room temperature or slightly chilled for the best taste and texture.
As for freezing, Melitzanosalata is not the best candidate for the freezer. Freezing could alter the texture and make it more watery once thawed. The olive oil may also separate from the other ingredients, compromising the dip’s overall flavor and consistency. Therefore, I recommend enjoying this dish fresh or within the recommended refrigeration time for the most satisfying experience.
More Greek Recipes to Check Out
- Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie
- Greek Chicken Gyros with Authentic Tzatziki Sauce
- Greek Gigantes
- Greek Fava
- Chicken Souvlaki
Melitzanosalata Recipe (Greek Eggplant Dip Recipe)
- 2 large eggplants
- 4 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil - plus more for serving
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley leaves and olives for garnish - optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the eggplants on a foil-lined baking sheet and prick a few times with a fork.
- Roast in the pre-heated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, turning every 15 minutes, until charred and soft.
- Allow the eggplant to rest until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin away from the flesh (if this proves difficult, simple slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the meat).
- Roughly chop the flesh and place in a colander to drain for 15 minutes.
- Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl and gently mash with a fork.
- Add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir well, taste, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Chill for one hour; serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with whole olives and a sprinkling of parsley.