A different kind of salad, that accompanies nicely a platter of Greek “mezedes” – that is different tidbits to nibble on while having a glass or two or three of ouzo. I should mention that the Greek “mezedes” are a whole different story, and I will show you how to present a platter to your friends, who will be sure to visit you very often! It can also accompany fried or grilled fish, grilled vegetables, boiled potatoes and chicken. I am giving you the ingredients for a small bowl, and you can increase the ingredients according to your needs.
Ingredients 1 large eggplant 3 – 4 tablespoonfuls olive oil 2 tablespoonfuls good quality vinegar 1 very small onion 1 clove of garlic 1 small red pepper (if liked) Salt, pepper 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley A few Kalamata olives.
Wash and dry the eggplant. Place it in an oiled baking pan and bake it for about 20 – 30 minutes. You will see that the skin becomes dark in color. Remove it from the oven and let it cool down a little, so that you can handle it. You can hold the eggplant with a fork while you peel the skin with a knife. Remove any visible seeds. The flesh of the eggplant contains a lot of water, so you must drain it, otherwise your salad will become very watery. Place the flesh in a strainer, and press gently with a spoon to remove the water. Leave it in the strainer for a little while, until it drains, pressing gently now and then.
The best way to make this salad, is to use a mortar and pestle if you have them. Grate the onion on the fine side of the grater. Mince the garlic. Put the onion and the garlic in the mortar together with the flesh of the eggplant. Pound everything gently until you have a nice paste. Add some salt and pepper and the oil, a tablespoonful at a time. Stir until the oil is absorbed, before you add another tablespoonful. Add the vinegar. If you wish you can chop finely the pepper and add it to the salad. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
If you don’t have a mortar you can place everything in a food processor.
Serve the salad in a nice bowl. You can sprinkle some finely chopped parsley on top, and decorate with Kalamata olives. On a plate place toasted bread and various crackers, on which you can spread the eggplant salad.