Santorini’s white aubergine can be found only on the island.
Santorini’s trademark aubergine (Solanum avigerum) has white skin and belongs to the broader Solanaceae family, but to a specific variety that is grown only on the island. Its seed is believed to have come from Egypt in the mid-20th century and to have adapted very well to the island’s soil and microclimate. It is round, with firm flesh, and does not have the bitterness of regular purple eggplant or too many seeds. It is also very juicy and sweet, while locals say that it does not absorb a lot of oil when it is fried.
AUBERGINE DIP (MELITZANOSALATA)
Preparation time: 15’ • Cooking time: Approximately 20’
• 2 aubergines (preferably the white Santorini variety)
• 1 onion, grated
• 1 clove garlic (optional), crushed
• 1 tbsp vinegar (preferably white-wine)
• 40 ml olive oil
• Salt, pepper
Roast the aubergines on a charcoal grill or under the oven grill, turning them over until soft and the skin is slightly charred. Cut in half and use a spoon to gently scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash the aubergine with a fork, and add the onion and garlic (optional), mixing well. Next, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve with barley rusks and olives.
It is rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. Thanks to the powerful antioxidant action of nasunin, it protects brain cells, boosts the immune system and helps lower cholesterol.