Zesty Eggplant Spread

Zesty Eggplant Spread

Serves 6 to 8

1 large eggplant (or 3 large Japanese – when in season)
2 “finely minced” garlic cloves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Tahini
1½ teaspoon lemon zest
¾ teaspoon cumin
Toasted Sesame Seeds to taste
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 475°F

Over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds in a very small amount of olive oil. Toss them with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set them aside.

Cut the eggplant lengthwise, and then quarter each half. Place the eggplant on an 8×8 inch square baking pan and lightly toss it with olive oil.

Bake the eggplant until slightly charred (approx. 25 minutes). While it cooks, turn it a bit with a fork. When the eggplant is tender, and the fork pierces it with ease, remove it from the oven.

Allow the eggplant to cool before chopping it with the skin on. The goal is to chop until the consistency becomes paste-like.

In a medium bowl, mix the eggplant with tahini, lemon juice, cumin, lemon zest, and salt/pepper. Finally, drizzle the top of the spread with olive oil and sprinkle it with sesame seeds.

Diva Tip:

• A food processor may be lightly used (via pulse) to purée the eggplant. Remember, the spread requires a paste consistency (not liquid).

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