Greek Cookbook, 128pp.
by Tess Mallos
Paul Hamlyn Pty Ltd, Sydney
Cooking on page 32
I bought a secondhand copy of this cookbook not long after I arrived in Australia in 1982. Big price tag—$4 still appears lightly written on the inside front cover.
I love Greek food and haven’t cooked from this book nearly as much as I should have. Glad this blog is driving me back into my neglected cookbooks.
Eggplant dip (Melitzanosalata)
1 large or 2 medium oval eggplants to about 500 g (1 lb)
1 garlic clove
3/4 cup soft white breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small onion, grated
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
freshly ground black pepper
Place whole, unpeeled eggplant on a baking tray and cook in a moderate oven for 30–50 minutes, depending on size, until soft to the touch. While hot remove skin and chop flesh roughly.
Crush garlic clove with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mortar. Gradually add warm eggplant alternating with crumbs. Add lemon juice and olive oil alternately, working mixture thoroughly with pestle. Mix in onion, parsley, additional salt to taste, and pepper.
Place in a bowl and chill well. Mixture thickens when thoroughly chilled. Garnish with black olives and serve with crackers, toast fingers or crusty bread.
To make in a blender: Place all ingredients, except oil, in jar of blender. Whirl on low speed until smooth, increase speed and gradually add olive ol: this makes a smoother puree.
Variation: Peel and chop 1 large, ripe tomato and add to mixture with eggplant.
How it played out
I made this pretty much as written (without the tomato variation), in a food processor. Food processors are great time-saving machines and I hope you have one.
For this recipe, I used two smaller eggplants that together weighed 500 grams (about 1 pound) and panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs.
I made this a couple of hours before it was shared with others, so the very dry panko breadcrumbs had time to moisten.
My big change was to use only 1/4 cup of oil. I thought 1/2 cup was total overkill, and the end result did not suffer from the reduction.
Lovely dip, but in future I’ll stick to my usual eggplant (baba ghanoush) dip. Let me know if you want that recipe, and I’ll post it on my travel blog.