Two-Way Eggplant Spread

Wildly popular in Israel, this eggplant spread is easy to make because you grill the eggplants whole. Keep this spread on hand in the refrigerator for a tasty snack. Fresh pita bread is the usual accompaniment.

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Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes to 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Keeping kosher: Pareve

2 1/2 pounds eggplants (2 medium or large)

2 large garlic cloves

1/3 cup mayonnaise or 1/2 cup tahini sauce, or more of either one to taste

1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Hot sauce to taste

Chopped Italian parsley or parsley sprigs (optional)

  1. Prick the eggplants a few times with fork.

  2. Put the eggplants on an outdoor grill or in a shallow baking dish in the broiler.

  3. Turning the eggplants often, broil for 40 minutes or grill for 1 hour, or until tender when pierced.

    The eggplants will look collapsed when they’re done.

  4. Cut off eggplant caps.

  5. Allow the eggplants to cool.

    Wait until they’re cool enough to handle.

  6. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise.

  7. Cut away the peel with a paring knife.

    If they’re very soft, simply scoop the flesh out of the peels with a spoon.

  8. Chop eggplant fine with a knife, almost to a puree.

    You can also put it in a food processor and chop it with on/off pulses to a chunky or smooth puree, as you prefer.

  9. Put the eggplant puree in a bowl.

  10. Finely mince the garlic cloves.

  11. Juice the lemon and strain the juice through a fine sieve.

  12. Add garlic to the eggplant puree and mix well.

  13. Stir in mayonnaise (or tahini sauce) and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

  14. Season generously with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

  15. Taste and add more mayonnaise, tahini sauce, or lemon juice, if you like.

  16. Serve cold or at room temperature, garnished with parsley.

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