I recently started a series called ‘Greek Kitchen Essentials’ – it is all about teaching you essential Greek recipes in order to introduce you to the beautiful, rich culture of the Greek cuisine. The latest essential Greek recipe that I am sharing is melitzanosalata ( pronounced: meleetzah-no-sa-LA-ta ) – a traditional smoky eggplant salad that is the perfect recipe to be cooking now that eggplants are in season!

Now, before I describe this recipe, we need to have a word about eggplant. I understand that it can be a very polarizing vegetable (well, it is technically a fruit, but you get my point). Eggplant needs to be cooked very well in order to develop its full potential in both texture and flavor. For melitzanosalata, we are going to cook the eggplant over a fire until the flesh is extremely tender. The inside of the eggplant will not only be very soft but it will gain a smoky, caramelized flavor from being cooked over the flame. Once you have tried properly cooked eggplant, you will understand why people who love eggplant enjoy it so much!


Our favorite way to make melitzanosalata mostly consists of two basic seasonal essentials: eggplants and red bell pepper. There are many variations of melitzanosalata that are made throughout Greece, some of which are blended until they are perfectly smooth like a dip and others that are more rustic like the one that I am sharing here on the blog today. We personally prefer the more rustic version because we absolutely love the combination of textures from the eggplant, red pepper, and the fresh green onion & parsley.


While you can cook the eggplants and pepper indoors over a gas burner, I highly recommend cooking them outside over a grill or a gas camping stove because things can get a bit smoky while you are perfectly charring your eggplants. For those of you who are wondering if you can char the eggplant in a conventional oven the answer is technically no. I have tried charring the eggplant in an oven and it just does not turn out the same as charring the eggplants over a flame. The smoky flavor that the flame imparts to the eggplant is the foundation of an authentic melitzanosalata.


If you look over the ingredients involved in making melitzanosaláta you may not think that something so simple could taste so special, but let me tell you, the synergy of this combination of ingredients is absolutely incredible! We love to scoop up our melizanosalata with pieces of warm pita bread for a simple summer meal. My mouth is actually watering right now as I type this! I truly hope you find pleasure in learning these Greek Kitchen Essentials and that our melitzanosalata finds its way to your table this summer!


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  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 4 large eggplants (approx. 1 kilo/2 lbs)
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 green onion, finely sliced
  • small handful fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 50g crumbled feta (1/3 cup)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pierce the eggplants all over with a fork.
  2. Set your grill or gas burner to medium high heat and cook the eggplants and pepper over the flames, rotating often to achieve an even char.
  3. The bell pepper will take about 10 minutes to be evenly charred. Once done, place pepper in a bowl and cover tightly so that the pepper will steam in the bowl.
  4. Continue to cook the eggplants for about another 10 minutes until the skin is thoroughly charred and the flesh is very tender (if a fork pushes into the flesh with no resistance, the eggplants are done). Set the eggplants aside to cool.
  5. Remove the pepper from the bowl and use a knife to scrape the skin off of the pepper.
  6. Cut out the stem and scrape the seeds from the inside of the pepper. Finely chop the pepper and set aside.
  7. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and use a spoon to carefully scoop the flesh away from the skin. Once you have removed all of the eggplant flesh from the skin, discard the skin, roughly chop the eggplant and reserve it in a bowl.
  8. Chop the clove of garlic, add it to a mortar bowl along with a large pinch of salt. Pound and grind the garlic with a pestle until it is perfectly smooth. Add olive oil and vinegar to the garlic and mix well with the pestle.
  9. Add the garlic paste to the chopped smoked eggplant, mixing well to combine.
  10. Add the sliced green onion and minced parsley to the bowl, reserving just a bit of each for garnish.
  11. Season with salt and pepper and then add the diced red bell pepper to the bowl and mix well to combine.
  12. Finish the melitzanosalata off with a generous drizzle of olive oil, crumbled feta and garnish with fresh herbs.
  13. Serve with warm pita bread.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Anita Myrick July 30, 2018, 11:24 am

    Your eggplant salad looks wonderful. I love eggplant but have never tried this. Thanks for introducing it and I will be trying it very soon. Your accompanying pita bread looks so appealing also. Did you use a certain tool to make it look this way or is it made from scratch that way? I love your site and the many tastes that my mind conjures up from viewing and reading the dishes you prepare. Thank you

    • bella | ful-filled July 30, 2018, 3:29 pm

      Hi Anita! Thank you so much for your feedback! I am so happy that I got to introduce this authentic Greek dish to you! The pita bread is actually from the store here in Greece, it comes like that, they basically ‘dock’ it to keep it from puffing, since traditional Greek pita bread does not have a pocket. There is a dough docking tool that is used to give it this look.

  • Michelle August 1, 2018, 9:28 am

    Gorgeous photos of this, Bella! I don’t think I’ve ever even tried this before – haha! How is that possible being Greek? I will have to try it one day when I have access to a fire. It sounds really amazing!

    • bella | ful-filled August 1, 2018, 1:16 pm

      Thank you so much Michelle! Well, there are so many dishes in the Greek cuisine and many of them are regional, so who knows!?!?! It is SO worth it – we bought an outdoor gas cooktop just so we could make this! Lol!

  • Kara Chin August 1, 2018, 4:10 pm

    I agree, eggplant is so controversial! I love when it is soft and cooked through and have been meaning to check this IGTV episode. I’m enjoying reading about your adventures and life in Greece—I hope all is well, Bella!

    • bella | ful-filled August 1, 2018, 11:23 pm

      Thank you so much Kara! I really appreciate your feedback!

  • Carolyn August 1, 2018, 5:00 pm

    first- I LOVE the light in these photos;) and second- I can’t wait to make this recipe! I hope you are well Bella

    • bella | ful-filled August 1, 2018, 11:22 pm

      Thank you Carolyn! I was trying to shoot this with indirect light and it just did not feel right…then I moved into the sun and I knew that was the way to go! I can’t wait for you to try this dish! We are well, thank you…I look forward to catching up with you soon!

  • Niko August 1, 2018, 11:19 pm

    MOUTH-WATERING is all i can say!!!

    • bella | ful-filled August 2, 2018, 7:11 am


  • Niko August 1, 2018, 11:21 pm

    my family made this the first day you posted, since then we have eaten it NOT once, or twice, or even three times…we have eaten it FOUR times since you posted!! we can not get enough of this dish, THANK YOU SSOOO MUCH bella!!!

    • bella | ful-filled August 2, 2018, 7:11 am

      WOW! That makes me so happy! You are so welcome!

  • Niko August 1, 2018, 11:23 pm

    Absolutely GORGEOUS photos of a dish that is actually nearly impossible to make look pretty, we LOVED how you shot these in the harsh Light!!!!!!!! it almost looked like you were coordinating the spotlight for this shoot with PAPA!!!

    • bella | ful-filled August 2, 2018, 7:11 am

      Oh my, thank you so very much! I worked very hard to style and shoot this dish in a way that would make it look as good as it tastes!

  • Claudia | The Brick Kitchen August 3, 2018, 4:22 am

    I so agree that eggplant can be done badly – but I’m definitely an eggplant fan, especially when charred until soft and smoky. Sounds so so lovely and perfect with pita!

    • bella | ful-filled August 4, 2018, 12:37 am

      Oh yay! Isn’t smoky eggplant the best!?! This dish is SO satisfying :)

  • Sarah August 5, 2018, 7:25 am

    This sounds incredible. I love eggplant, but every time I make it myself I mess it up so I never make it at home. I’m going to have to try this recipe soon and change my bad luck streak. :)

    • bella | ful-filled August 7, 2018, 5:19 am

      Oh yay! I am SO excited for you to give this a try…it is worth the effort of getting that char on the eggplant, it really makes the dish!

  • todd wagner August 6, 2018, 10:30 am

    Charred peppers are some of my favorite things to eat! Dying to try this!!

    • bella | ful-filled August 7, 2018, 5:24 am

      Charring vegetables just takes them to a whole new level right!?! I would love to hear what you think if you give the recipe a try :)

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