Neighborhood Kitchens

Emilitsa's Melitzanosalata

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Melitzanosalata, a smoked eggplant appetizer, is one of the classic greek mezethes (small plates of tasty morsels). It's healthy, delicious, rich in fiber, provides a number of vitamins and minerals along with disease-fighting antioxidants and it’s easy to make. For this appetizer make sure to use a high quality greek extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), unfiltered if you can find it.



Ingredients
3 large eggplant
1/2 to1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste
sugar to taste
2 Tbls rinsed capers
1 large garlic clove (fine chop)
2 very thin scallion (sliced fine on the bias) Remove a couple of inches from the green tops, which often have a scraggly texture.
 
To Prepare:

Rinse scallions under cold running water and pull off any bruised leaves. Cut off and discard the root end.

Wash and dry the eggplant and place directly on a low open flame, such as a stovetop gas burner or outside grill - roast turning with tongs until charred and black on all sides it will take about 15 to 20 minutes to roast them completely. Make sure the dense end which is the meatiest part is tender. Remove from flame, let cool a little. The eggplant should still be hot when you work with it. Pour at least 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a non-reactive mixing bowl that is big enough to hold the 3 eggplant and set aside.

Next clean the hot eggplant. Working on a cutting board split them down the middle with a sharp knife then follow the contours of the eggplant and peel and scrap away the charred skin.

Next using a non-reactive spoon or wooden spoon remove the pulp or meat, don’t worry to much about the seeds but try to remove as many as possible without loosing to much pulp. Now place the eggplant pulp in the bowl that has the olive oil and start stirring with a fork and continue stirring until the eggplant absorbs all the olive oil adding more olive oil as is needed. You are looking for a creamy and chunky texture. Next, stir in the salt, garlic, and a little sugar, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped scallions, and rinsed capers. This version is from the islands and is typically spread on fresh crusty bread or crostini and served with a glass of dry white Retsina.

More recipes from Chef Regas
Emilitsa's Rizogalo
Halibut in Red Pepper Puree



Demos Regas

Demos Regas is the Chef at Emilitsa, a Greek restaurant in Portland, Maine. He shared this recipe with us when he was featured as our guest on Neighborhood Kitchens.




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Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

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In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
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Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi

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