Recipe: grilled aubergine dip // melizanosalata

If you’re prone to pondering over the weather forecast, like I am, then you’ll be aware that we’re being promised a mini heatwave in the UK over the next couple of months. This early dose of warmth and sunshine in the spring is most lovely and calls for all BBQs to be dusted down and readied for grilling in the golden hour as soon as possible. With that in mind, here’s a great recipe that is the perfect companion to burgers, buns and grilled halloumi. Taken from one of my mum’s very neatly hand written note books, probably dating back to when I was just a nipper, it’s a fresh, zingy, smokey, herby alternative to traditional BBQ condiments like ketchup and mustard.

If you’re not in the mood for outdoor grilling, it’s also pretty delicious spread on some freshly baked bread (pictured) or inside a pita with some warm falafels. Bring on the summertime!

Melizanosalata (grilled aubergine dip)

  • 2 good sized aubergines
  • 1 large red onion
  • 85ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your grill as hot as you can get it. Take both aubergines and score the skin, being careful not to cut too deep, this will allow them to be peeled later.

Finely slice the garlic, onion and parsley and set them aside for later.

Put the aubergines under the hot grill for about 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally when the skin starts to bubble. Once they are blackened on all sides, place them aside to cool.

Once cool, skin them (this should be like peeling a banana because of the scoring) and then pound the flesh with a potato masher until smooth.

Add finely chopped onion, garlic and parsley and pound again, adding the olive oil a little at a time until all incorporated. Note: you can also use a hand blender if you like a smoother consistency.

When creamy, stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread or take to a BBQ and make yourself easily the most popular person there!

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