I made this delicious dip the other day as part of a Mezze platter I served to friends.  I had planned on serving it the following night with some BBQ’d lamb cutlets.  it would also be a superb accompaniment to a nice big fat piece of meaty fish such as Blue Eye Cod or Spanish Mackerel. Unfortunately the buggers ate it all!

Prep time:  30 mins             Cooking time:  30 mins             $ Low Budget

(It only takes about 30 minutes all up as you cook while you prep)

Serves 6 greedy buggers

1 large eggplant (600gm), stabbed with a fork all over

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 a red onion, very finely diced

2 small ripe tomatoes, finely diced

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tbs of finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Sea salt and cracked pepper

1/2 a tsp of rigani* or dried oregano

To get the smokey flavour for this dish you really need a BBQ grill or an open gas flame.  If you don’t have either stab the eggplant with a fork all over and place in a 200°C oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Light your gas burner or BBQ grill to a high flame and place the eggplant on top.  Let it rest there until the skin becomes blackened and blistered all over.  You will need to strategically move it around (please use tongs to do this or you will burn yourself!)

Once blackened all over set aside and allow to cool.  Combine the onion, garlic, parsley and tomato in a medium sized bowl and mix well to combine.  When the eggplant is cooler either use your fingers or tongs and peel away the skin.   Discard the skin and slice the eggplant flesh into little cubes and add to the other ingredients.  Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Mix well to combine and transfer to a nice serving bowl.  Serve with grilled pita bread……

*Rigani is Greek Oregano.  You can buy it in specialty food stores in bunches.