Why Eggplant Dip? I am recently back from Melbourne (Australia), where I was able to excite my curious tastebuds throughout the eclectic streets and suburbs that make Melbourne so special.
On Smith Street I ate the best baklava that had to be a secret family recipe and has given me a craving I can’t shift.
In St Kilda I was spoilt with service, style and fabulous Italian Cuisine at the long established Café Di Stasio.
On Brunswick Street at St Jude’s Cellars I shared a delicious four course-tasting menu where I was inspired by techniques and new flavour combinations.
In the Greek Quarter I enjoyed simple Greek cuisine at its best in a family run joint, and at Victoria Food Markets I was delighted with the amazing spread of fresh fish and meats, cheeses and cured meats and seasonal vegetables.
Along with cheeses, butter, breads and dips I could not resist the fresh fruit and vegetables. Amongst the fruit I bought beautiful deep purple eggplants and plenty of robustly smelling Australian garlic.
This dip celebrates the quality produce I bought and the beautiful food I ate while in Melbourne.
2 medium eggplants (500g)
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 cup soft white breadcrumbs
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small salad onion, grated
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prick the eggplants with a fork and place in the oven on a wire rack. Make sure to have a tray underneath that can catch any liquid from the eggplants. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until the eggplants are soft to the touch.
While hot remove the skin and chop roughly. Place the eggplant in a large bowl with the garlic clove and mash with a fork. Continue to work the eggplant into a smoother paste while add the breadcrumbs.
Add the olive oil and lemon juice alternately. Once to a desired smoothness stir in the onion, parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Allow to cool and place in the refrigerator to thicken slightly.
Note you can make this dip in a food processor however the final product will be a lot smoother.
Makes 2 cups