THE last in our series of cool summer recipes comes from Miriam Scott of Maidstone, Kent. It is for an aubergine dip called melitzanosalata.

Mrs Scott writes that she found the recipe on the back of 'a picture postcard bought on the island of Aegina; number 2B in the series Traditional Greek Recipes published by Synolo Editions'. She will receive a bottle of Sancerre Rose Les Romaines 1992 Vacheron, an elegant Loire wine made from pinot noir grapes, which we purchase from Reid Wines of Hallatrow, near Bristol.


Serves 6 as appetiser

or part of a mezze

Ingredients: 1 large or 2

medium-sized aubergine

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

8oz (225g) yoghurt

4fl oz (120ml) olive oil

3tbs vinegar (or lemon juice)

salt and pepper

Preparation: Bake aubergines in a moderate oven until skin begins to wrinkle and the flesh goes soft and pulpy. Place in bowl, cover and allow to cool before trimming the top and slipping off the skin. Place flesh in blender with garlic, yoghurt, oil and lemon juice. Puree, taste, season, quickly blend, adjust seasoning and decant into bowl. Serve with hot bread.

To make a mezze, serve it with hummus, tzatziki, olives, tomato and basil salad, minted meat balls, spiced nuts and sausages.

An entire series of postcards could be dedicated to aubergine purees: variations on this particular theme are found throughout the Mediterranean. The recipe above can be varied by leaving out the yoghurt and adding tahini, or charring the aubergine over a flame until it is blackened and steam rises, removing the skin and then blending the flesh with garlic, chopped fresh coriander leaves, a generous amount of olive oil, fresh lime juice and salt and pepper.

NEXT week we offer recipes for peppers - bell, chilli, fresh, dried, powdered, pickled, hot or sweet. Recipes, stating the source and naming any particularly good growers or suppliers, are still welcome, addressed to: Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

Those whose recipes we print will receive a bottle of the perfectly balanced white wine, 1991 Wyken Auxerrois, from Wyken Vineyards in Stanton, Suffolk.