Greek Eggplant Dip

From Vefa’s Kitchen by Vefa Alexiadou

2 lbs eggplant

¼ tsp salt, plus extra for sprinkling

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ cup olive oil, plus extra for sprinkling

4 tbsp red wine vinegar (more or less)

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 mild green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tomato, seeded and chopped

Preheat the broiler or light the barbecue. Broil or grill the eggplants whole, turning frequently, until the skins are charred and the flesh is softened. (Cooking over charcoal gives the salad a pleasant smoky flavor.) Remove from the heat and hold each eggplant briefly under cold running water until cool enough to handle, then peel immediately. Do not allow the unpeeled eggplants to cool completely or the flesh will turn black. When peeled, put them into a strainer and let cool completely. Chop the eggplant flesh and transfer to a bowl. Add the salt and garlic. Beating constantly with an electric mixer on medium speed, gradually add the oil, a few drops at a time, then in a slow steady thin stream until all of it has been absorbed. Continue beating and gradually add vinegar to taste, a little at a time. Transfer to a serving dish, cover, and chill in the refrigerator. Garnish with parsley, chopped bell pepper, and tomato. Sprinkle with a little salt and olive oil and serve with crackers or crudités.