Fried Eggplant with Garlicky Tomato-Vinegar Sauce (Tiganites Melitzanes me Skordo kai Ntomata)

“Let’s have fried eggplant!” I have a fairly low tolerance for fried foods, so I was less than enthusiastic, but Zoe hooked me with the promise of a sauce I’d never had before. I’m glad I let myself be hooked, because this sauce is fantastic. Really. I could practically just drink it. It’s a very simple sauce, yet strikingly different from other tomato sauces. It’s made with fresh garlic and tomatoes, cooked briefly, then enlivened with a splash of red wine vinegar. The whole effect is fresh, light and bright – a perfect foil for the fried eggplant.


One eggplant, peeled lengthwise with some skin remaining.
Eggplant with strips of skin peeled off.
For the tomato sauce:
6 tomatoes, grated
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 TB olive oil
1 1/2 TB red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Ingredients for tomato sauce.

Sharpen your knife and slice the eggplant as thinly as you can. (Or you can cut it thicker if you prefer; we just happen to like thin and crispy eggplant.)
Very thin eggplant slice.
Put the eggplant slices in a colander in layers, sprinkling salt on each layer.
Salted eggplant slices draining in colander.

Cover the colander with a towel to keep the eggplant from turning black, and leave to drain for 30 minutes.
Eggplant slices are covered with a towel.
While the eggplant is draining, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a skillet or shallow pan and add the garlic.
Sauteeing the garlic.
Give the garlic a few quick stirs, and as soon as it becomes fragrant and slightly golden, add the tomatoes. Don’t let the garlic brown! Add the salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
Simmering the tomato sauce.
After the tomato sauce has simmered for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and add the vinegar.
Finishing the sauce with vinegar.

Now we’re ready to work on the eggplant again. Rinse the eggplant and spread the slices out on a towel. Pat them dry and cover with another towel.
Rinsed slices spread out on a towel.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Put a few slices of eggplant in the hot oil, not too many because they need room “to swim.” Keep the slices that are waiting their turn covered with the towel.
Frying a few slices at a time.
Remove when browned and drain on paper towels.
Fried eggplant draining on paper towels.
Serve the eggplant with the tomato sauce.
Fried eggplant with tomato sauce.
This is also good at room temperature, both the fried eggplant and the sauce.

Here’s another version of fried eggplant, battered slices a bit thicker than mine. (Scroll down to find the eggplant.)


  1. Comment by maria verivaki

    beautiful green cheesecloth! aubergine is my favorite summer vegetable!
    And kalo pasxa if we don’t hear from each other before then!

  2. Comment by lulu

    Kalo pasxa, Maria, I know you’re super busy getting ready.

  3. Comment by KATERINA VLACHOU

    Congratulations! The better version of the recipe is to put the fried vegetables in the sauce and to simmer for 10-15 min. Then you sprinkle crubled feta cheese on top, some dried origano and you serve.KALO PASXA!Kissed from Athens

  4. Comment by maria verivaki

    exactly – spending literally hours preparing food that will be devoured in the space of an hour

  5. Comment by lulu

    Good luck Maria!

  6. Comment by lulu

    Hi Katerina, thanks for stopping by. Your method sounds delicious! Of course, it makes it a very different dish. We make this when we want crunchy eggplant “chips,” and we put the sauce on the side so the “chips” stay crispy.

    I do also make an eggplant dish that sounds more like yours, except that the eggplant is baked in the sauce: Melitzana.

  7. Comment by Laurie Constantino

    Crunchy eggplant slices, yum yum yum. Wish I had some now. I like these your way because you don’t use flour or heavy coatings to take away from the eggplant flavor. Kalo Pasxa! Xronia Polla!

  8. Comment by lulu

    Kalo Pasxa and Xronia Polla to you too Laurie!

  9. Comment by Jj

    What a great way to use eggplant, thanks. These look fantastic!

  10. Comment by lulu

    Hi Jj, glad you stopped by. These are fantastic! Not low calorie of course… :-)

  11. Comment by Lady Sweet Chips

    I am not used to making eggplant dishes, but this one, looks so good I will have to try it!
    all your pictures are very beautiful and helpful. LSC

  12. Comment by lulu

    I think you would really like this, Lady Sweet Chips!

  13. Comment by maria verivaki

    wish i’d remembered to look this up – never mind, there are plenty more albine eggplants in my uncles’ garden – maybe i can try this the next time

    maria verivaki’s last blog post..Vegetable chips and fritters

  14. Comment by Eirini

    I love your site, and on weeekends when planning recipes for the upcoming week, often scan it for wonderfully delicious recipes to make for the taste as well as for reminders of Greece. Thanks for all the posts and great explanations x

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