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Melitzanosalata
Greek Eggplant Salad

4.3 stars, average of 27 ratings

Melitzanosalata - Greek Eggplant SaladPin recipeFollow us 130.7k

Mediterranean, especially Greek cuisine is perfect for a low-carb diet. The only downside is the sweets that, as some of you may know, are literally swimming in syrup and covered in sugar. Avoid them completely and as always stay away from bread, potatoes, rice and pasta and you are left with real food!

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With Easter coming, my good friend Stam, who's originally from Greece, suggested I should make Metitzanosalata, aka Greek eggplant salad. The original recipe is on his blog and I kept it exactly as it is - traditional and simple. To my surprise, some versions of Greek Melitzanosalata do not include whole onion but only freshly squeezed onion juice. I've tried several variations and this is my absolute favourite.

Note: Since you will only use some of the onion (juiced), I counted only half of the carbs from it.

Eggplants on a Low-carb Diet

If you want to get the best out of eggplants (aka aubergines in the UK), don't peel the skin off. It contains phytochemicals and the eggplant itself is full of antioxidants. Both protect cells from the effect of free-radical damage, therefore eating eggplant regularly can have anti-aging effect. This rich-coloured low-carb vegetable is also packed with fiber, which is good for sating your appetite.

Make sure you include electrolytes (magnesium, sodium and potassium) to avoid symptoms of keto-flu common in low-carb diets. Potassium and magnesium are essential minerals and eggplants are a good source of both. Deficiency of potassium and magnesium may result in muscle weakness or cramping, fatigue, low blood pressure, headaches, depression, etc. It is therefore vital to include food rich in electrolytes in your everyday diet.

Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per serving, about 1/2 cup)

Net carbs7 grams
Protein2 grams
Fat9.4 grams
Calories132 kcal

Calories from carbs 23%, protein 7%, fat 70%

Total carbs12.3 gramsFiber5.4 gramsSugars6.7 gramsSaturated fat1.3 gramsSodium197 mg(9% RDA)Magnesium28 mg(7% RDA)Potassium448 mg(22% EMR)

Ingredients (make 6 servings)

  • 4 medium eggplants (1 kg/ 2.2 lb)
  • 1 large white onion, juiced (150 g/ 2.6 oz)
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C/ 350 °F (fan assisted), or 195 °C/ 380 °F (conventional). Wash and dry the eggplants and place them on a baking sheet. Do not cut or pierce them. Place them in the oven and cook for 45-60 minutes. When done, the eggplants should be soft. An hour of cooking should be enough but if needed, cook for longer. Melitzanosalata - Greek Eggplant Salad
  2. Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the onion and place in a food processor. Melitzanosalata - Greek Eggplant Salad
  3. Pulse until finely chopped. Melitzanosalata - Greek Eggplant Salad
  4. Pour the olive oil into a bowl. Place the onion into a cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve. Squeeze out the juices - as much as you can. Melitzanosalata - Greek Eggplant Salad
  5. Discard the solids or keep them in the fridge for other uses (e.g. adding to meat stews). Melitzanosalata - Greek Eggplant Salad
  6. Mix the olive oil, freshly squeezed onion and lemon juice, mashed garlic and finely chopped parsley. Melitzanosalata - Greek Eggplant Salad
  7. When the eggplants are soft, remove from the oven and let them cool down. Cut the eggplants and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant flesh into desired consistency - do not blend. Melitzanosalata - Greek Eggplant Salad
  8. Add the oil and herb mixture and stir in well. Season with salt and serve as a side with meat like meat skewers or use as dip for vegetables and any low-carb crackers. Melitzanosalata - Greek Eggplant Salad

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 1/2 cup)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Eggplant (aubergine), fresh
4.8 g1.6 g0.3 g42 kcal
Onion, white, fresh
1 g0.1 g0 g5 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.6 g0.1 g0 g3 kcal
Lemon (juice), fresh
0.5 g0 g0 g2 kcal
Parsley, fresh (spices)
0.1 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g9 g80 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving, about 1/2 cup
7 g2 g9.4 g132 kcal
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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (22)

When you say 1 kg for the eggplant that is the weight for all 4 combined, correct? Or should I be looking for 4kg of eggplant? My local store’s eggplant is always around .5kg each so I wanted to double check....

Reply

Yes that is correct, it is the weight of all of them combined.

Reply

What a wonderful recipe and I love you blog Martina,
I am 57 and have been in ketosis for 3 week and ten lbs down. I thought it would be harder at my age but this just seems like eating healthy! I am over the flu with the delicious bean broth ((amazing) and am venturing into my own recipes.
I know we are going to have a great time with this lifestyle change!

Reply

Thank you so much Dania!

Reply

Did I miss it or does the recipe not mention what to do with the garlic and parsely?

Reply

I can see it in step 6 if that's what you mean? 😊

Reply

Can the eggplant side dish be frozen. I only need one serving at a time.
Thank you. It all sounds delicious.
Laura

Reply

Yes definitely it can! It may come out a little bit watery but it will still be delicious 😊

Reply

I roasted the eggplant and followed your instructions BUT also roasted a capsicum and 2 courgettes which I chopped up and added. Plus fresh mint. Plus capers and feta to make a salad.

Reply

That sounds delicious! Feta is amazing with eggplant 😊

Reply

stop calling Turkish recipes Greek.

Reply

Melitzanosalata is a Greek recipe 😊

Reply

You may also try sunflower oil, which I prefer, because olive oil has a very strong flavor.  Plus, if you are orthodox and you are fasting from olive oil, sunflower oil is a good alternative.  I make mine exactly the same except without lemon.  I also chop mine very fine so that it's very spreadable on bread.  I haven't had it since I gave up bread but really want to try it with some paleo bread.  Oh, and you can mix with mayo and that is also very good.  thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

Reply

Thank you Pamela! I personally like the strong taste but I think you can use any other oil - macadamia and avocado oil also have a milder taste - or unprocessed / virgin sunflower oil. I just avoid sunflower oil because it's very high in omega 6s. Oh, I love the idea of mixing it with mayo! I will definitely try that on top of my keto buns 😊

Reply

Thanks for the recipe, I'll make this with the lamb skewers tonight!

Reply

Thank you Tim, enjoy! 😊

Reply

Great idea! I live in Greece and struggling to keep up with my low-carb high fat diet. A typical summer dish when I was growing up was grilled sardines with melitzanosalata! Thanks for the inspiration!

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It could be tricky, especially with all those delicious meals that contain flour or/and sugar... I was in Greece last year and wrote a post about the food I ate there. Here are some more tips for low-carb eating: Top 15 Low-Carb and Paleo Meals to Try in Greece

Reply

I love Greek food! If only it was easy to get fresh seafood and lamb where I live... I have to try this salad 😊

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I call it the "low-carb Mediterranean diet" 😊

Reply

BTW I took the whole day cooking on Sunday and froze meal size packages. I also cut up and cooked 4 large chicken breasts. Then I froze them to add to what ever I choose,  I did the same with two pounds of spicy ground beef for tacos and salads. I just take what I need.  Prepared items are the best way to remain ever full! And I made a glorious pink grapefruit cheesecake which I also freeze portions individually. In the morning I make my choices for the day and mix fresh with frozen.

Reply

Perfect meal prep, well done!! 😊

Reply