Eggplant Salad City-Style

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

When it comes to teasing and appeasing the appetite, the Greeks are a cunning and frugal lot. What has more allure than a mix of vegetables, each with a different flavor? And why waste even a smattering of one? What completes a glass of wine more than a salty paste of fish roe? And why not glorify such a treasure of a sea catch? Some of the most creative, tasty, and adored appetizers in Greek cuisine are purees or mixtures of vegetables, handsomely oiled and herbed, or smooth concoctions of seed or roe, resplendently emulsified. Greeks label them “salads”. We might call them spreads. The distinction makes little difference when delighting in them. They are eaten by the forkful or scooped upon bread, enjoyed with drinks among friends, among family, around the room and at the table.

Cooking Methodbaking



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Courseantipasto/mezze, hors d'oeuvre, tapas/small plates

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, healthy, lactose-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch, snack

Taste and Texturecreamy, savory, smoky, umami

Type of Dishdip/spread


  • 1 large eggplant (about 1½ pounds)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Lemon slices or sprigs of fresh mint or parsley, for garnish
  • Bread, pita, or crackers, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

  2. Prick the eggplant once with a knife. Place it on a baking sheet in the oven and roast until the skin is wrinkled and the eggplant has collapsed, about 1 hour. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.

  3. Slit the eggplant open lengthwise and scrape the pulp from the skin. Finely chop the pulp and transfer it to a medium-size bowl.

  4. Add the oil, salt, and vinegar to the eggplant, and stir until thoroughly blended. Leave in the bowl, or transfer to a platter and shape into a loaf. Cover the salad and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

  5. To serve, garnish with the lemon slices or herb sprigs, and accompany with bread.


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