Aubergine Salad (Melitazonsalata)

I have always avoided making this dish, it looked complicated and a bit of a faff! but I recently went on holiday to Crete and my friends amazing mum showed me how to make it. It’s great with fresh bread as a dip or as a side dish but I also use it as a replacement for butter in sandwiches – filled with crispy salad.

4 x large aubergines (eggplants)
½ red onion cut into rough chunks
1 x fat garlic cloves roughly chopped
Juice of 1- 2 lemons
Good glug of olive oil (extra virgin)
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

Squeeze the lemons and have the juice ready and set aside.
Pre-heat your oven to 200c – wash your aubergines and prick them with a fork, lay them on a baking tray and bake for about an hour.
Turn them over halfway through cooking. Depending on your oven they may be cooked sooner than an hour.
When the aubergines are soft, remove them one by one from the oven. Gently slit the aubergine open and scoop out the pulp with a spoon, straight into a large deep bowl. As you add the pulp to the bowl, carefully pour over a little lemon juice to stop the aubergine going brown.
Continue doing this until all the pulp is in the bowl. Drain off the lemon juice but save it.
Cut up your red onion and add to the bowl and chop your garlic and add it to the bowl also. Add salt & pepper to the bowl (remember you can add but can’t take away!)
Now get a hand blender and blitz the ingredients in the bowl, gently adding a glug of olive oil until the mixture is smooth.
Taste and see if anything needs adding. Once the mixture is cool, re

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