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smoky eggplant dip

Smoky Eggplant Dip with Yogurt and Za’atar


  • Author: Alexandra
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups

Description

From Julia Turshen’s Small Victories, a beautiful new cookbook I am loving — I’ve made the eggs fried in olive oil with yogurt and lemon, the lentils with coconut milk, and the whiskey sour with maple syrup. Everything has been incredibly delicious.

I served this with flatbread, essentially Lahey pizza dough stretched into a rectangle/oval, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, and baked on the Baking Steel. Details here.

Note: I chose to oven roast the eggplant (as oppose to grill) because I was feeling a little lazy and my gas grill is in astonishingly bad shape. If you own a charcoal grill, I imagine you’ll be able to impart some serious smokiness into the eggplant flesh — I hope to one day own a charcoal grill again. Know that, however, even with a subtle smokiness, this dip is delicious.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb. eggplant
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon torn fresh mint*
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar
  • warm bread for servingI didn’t have any mint, but t was delicious without it

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425ºF. Place eggplant on a lightly greased or parchment-lined sheetpan. Prick the eggplant in a few spots. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, turning it over halfway through roasting. The skin should be black. (Alternatively: preheat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat. Grill the eggplant until the skin is completely blackened and the flesh feels soft when you pierce it with a paring knife, about 45 minutes. Note: This is the preparation Turshen suggests primarily in the book—the oven method is the alternative—and you will likely get a smokier flavor if you use a grill.)
  2. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop the soft flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Discard the eggplant skin. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, the tahini, lemon juice, and yogurt to the eggplant and pulse everything a few times just to combine. Note: Julia warns against letting the machine run for longer than a couple of seconds at a time to ensure that the dip has a bit of texture. I don’t mind it on the smooth side —the texture of the baba ghanoush at Chickpea that I love so much is on the smooth side — so pulse it to the texture you like. Taste the dip for seasoning and add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed.
  3. Transfer the dip to a shallow bowl and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Drizzle the dip with the olive oil and sprinkle with the mint (if using) and za’atar. Serve immediately, with plenty of warm bread or pita for scooping and dipping.