Melintzanosalata – Greek aubergine and tahini dip
2 aubergines, approx. 300 gr.
35 g Tahini (about 2 tablespoons)
½ clove garlic
10 ml lemon juice
5 ml honey
10 ml vinegar ( white or red wine vinegar)
10 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. flat leaf parsley
1. Sear the aubergines:
Place the aubergines over the flame from a gas hob or from a culinary torch or from a camping gas burner or, of course, burning charcoal. Note for those who do not have any of these, the alternative is to use the grill of the oven or the ring of a non-ceramic hob, but you will never get the intense smoky taste we seek. So it’s worth investing in a culinary torch.
Turn the aubergines every so often until almost the entire surface of the aubergine skin burns and shrivels. You should be able to pierce the aubergine with a fork by now. This will take you about 4 minutes for each aubergine.
When ready, put them in a bowl and wait for them to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Peel and chop the aubergines:
Once the aubergines have cooled, put them on a chopping board and with a sharp knife remove the blackened skins. Use kitchen paper to rub off small pieces left behind. Alternatively, do this under running water in the sink. Don’t worry if some blackened little bits remain – they’ll add to the flavour of the aubergine dip.
Now chop up the aubergine flesh.
3. Prepare the tahini:
Put about 2 tablespoons of tahini into a bowl, pour a spoonful of water in and whisk by hand. You will see the colour lighten a little. Now add another tablespoon of water so it starts to loosen some more and become paler in colour.
Next add the lemon juice, continuing to whisk. Add the olive oil and then the honey and make sure you whisk right into the bottom of the bowl. Overall we are talking about no more than 2 minutes.
4. Combining the aubergine:
Now that the base of the tahini is ready, add the aubergine and whisk well to make sure it’s thoroughly combined with the tahini.
5. Finish the aubergine dip:
Now that you’ve actually made the mix with the basic flavours, you can add the ingredients that will give you the final flavour and balance. You can now add the amounts according to your personal taste. So now add the garlic, vinegar and of course salt and pepper, stirring, testing and correcting all the time. You could add more lemon juice or olive oil if you prefer. However, avoid adding too much garlic because it distracts from the taste of the aubergine.
Finally garnish with the parsley which will give colour, freshness and a light crispness. Stir and serve immediately or alternatively put it into the fridge, covered with clingfilm, making sure it touches the surface of the aubergine dip – this way no air remains above it to dry it out.