A Cook's Plot

Side Dishes & Canapes

A Multi-Tasking Dip

I love a recipe that you can use in different ways and this is a classic example. It’s made with aubergines, and is based on the traditional Greek dish ‘Melitzanosalata’. Grilling the aubergines until they’re very soft gives it a lovely smoky taste, and if you add feta at the end the saltiness gives the dish an extra layer of flavour (although you can leave out the feta if you prefer).

You can use the finished dish as a dip with crudités, as bruschetta on crusty bread, or as a mini tartlet filling (which is what I made it for on Mother’s Day last weekend, to serve as a pre-lunch nibble), as a pasta topping (the leftovers were great for this on Monday this week!) or as a side dish with roast lamb. And, as it’s A Cook’s Plot recipe, needless to say it’s dead easy to make. Here’s how…


Serves 8

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of black olives, halved
  • 100g feta (optional)


Slice the aubergines in half horizontally and put under a very hot grill for about 15 mins, turning halfway through, until the skins are blistered and the flesh is very tender. Set aside until cool enough to handle then peel the skins off (they will come away easily). Meanwhile, fry the onion until translucent then add the garlic and fry for a minute more.

Roughly chop the aubergine flesh, and put in a food processor with the onion, garlic, tomato, parsley and lemon juice. Blitz until roughly chopped, then stir in the olives and feta (if using). Season, then taste and add a little more lemon juice if necessary - it should be fairly sharp and fresh tasting.

You can now serve it just as it is - but I prefer to tip it all into a frying pan and cook over a medium heat for about 6 minutes as this really helps bring out the flavours. Then serve warm or at room temperature.

Will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.

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