3 large, plump aubergines – these should be glossy, firm, and a deep mauve colour with no discoloration.
Small finely grated white onion.
Salt and pepper, 1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley 2 tbs. olive oil, 1 tbs. lemon juice
Halve the aubergines, then roast them in a moderate oven or on a grill (if possible over charcoal) with the cut faces downwards, until the skins harden and blacken. Remove and mash the pulp, add the onion, parsley and seasonings then add the oil to form a thick cream and finally beat in the lemon juice. A liquidiser is ideal for this purpose. Some people add a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt (and I suspect some even add mayonnaise!) to lighten the texture, but this is not essential.
Melitzanasaláta is made in all the countries bordering on the eastern Mediterranean, in one variation or another. Some recipes add garlic, but this destroys the delicate, nutty taste of the aubergine, especially delicious if it has been grilled over charcoal. Makes enough for 4, when served together with other mezedes. Provide little wedges of country bread with which to eat the melitzanasaláta.