Bruschetta di Melitsanosalata
Here's an Italian style way to eat a summery Greek salad or dip: Bruschetta, of course is a snack of grilled Italian bread topped with something yummy. In this case it's melitsano(eggplant)salata(salad).
This Greek eggplant salad is the best I know if. I’m not a fan of the Italian sweet and sour eggplant caponata, but this Greek dish really has me. Try it on some grilled Italian bread. Yum!
1 medium-sized eggplant
1 small roma tomato, minced
½ cup minced red or yellow onion, soaked in cold water then drained**
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped parsley
**I think dishes with raw onion taste better if the onion is soaked in cold water and drained first. The bright, zingy onion flavor remains but the overpowering, sometimes acrid taste is washed away before it ever gets the chance to ruin your dish.
Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Leave the eggplant stem attached but pull the excess leafy-green cap off so that all of the eggplant skin is exposed. Prick the skin in several places with a knife so that steam can escape without the eggplant exploding in the oven. Place the eggplant on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for about 1 hour. Cook until the eggplant is uniformly soft and the skin has turned from purple to brown. Remove from oven. Let cool slightly. As soon as you can handle it, slice the eggplant in half longways. Scoop out all the meat with a large spoon, chop roughly, salt and place in a large mesh strainer over a recipient. Cover the eggplant with a plate and weigh it down. I use a full glass of water on top of the plate as a weight. Let stand for at least another hour until the eggplant has let go of a lot of it’s juices. Music to drain eggplant by: The Shins "New Slang". I just showed one of my English classes the film, "Garden State" and this song, featured in the film, has been running in my head ever since.
Meanwhile chop, mince and mash the other ingredients. When the eggplant is ready, add everything together in a serving bowl. It tastes best after macerating together for at least an hour or 2. Serve at room temperature or chilled.