By Larry Levine

This recipe has been in my family for well more than 100 years. My mother got it from her mother, who brought it with her when she emigrated from Rumania in the late 1890s. How long it had been in her family before that is beyond knowing.

1 Eggplant, about 1 lb
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1 Tblsp olive oil (or to taste)
2 tsp lemon juice (or to taste)
12 Greek style black olives, pitted and chopped
salt to taste

Pierce skin of eggplant in several places with the point of a knife to prevent eggplant from exploding. Bake eggplant at 400 degrees for 40 minutes in a shallow baking dish. Let the eggplant cool. Peel off the skin. Chop the eggplant with the edge of a spoon. Put chopped eggplant in a fine strainer and let juice drain out. Place eggplant in a bowl. Mix onion and tomatoes into chopped eggplant. Stir in olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Stir in olives. Add salt to taste if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve. Uncover and let stand. Serve at room temperature. Mix before serving. Taste again at room temperature and add salt if needed.

Remember, the olives can be very salty. So use care in adding salt. If you omit the olives you will need to use more salt.

Serve as a dip with plain water crackers or sesame crackers.

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