(serves 4-6, as an appetizer)
1 large eggplant, pricked with a fork all over
1/3 C tahini
5 roasted garlic cloves
Juice from one lemon
1 t cumin
2 T Greek yogurt
1 t salt, or more
1 T garlic oil
Place eggplant on a preheated grill pan. Grill mark the entire eggplant. Careful not to rush this process. It takes a while. Once thoroughly marked, place eggplant on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until eggplant is soft and yielding to the touch.
Let eggplant cool. Slice eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the “meat”. Discard the skin. Place eggplant “meat” into a food processor along with remaining ingredients. Pulse machine until ingredients are well combined. JUST PULSE. Some texture is nice to have.
Adjust seasoning with lemon juice or salt. Place dip into the refrigerator for several hours allowing flavors to meld. Before service, allow baba ghanoush to come to room temperature.
For roasted olives and grapes: Use 1 C each of red seedless grapes and pitted kalamata olives. Toss with fresh chopped rosemary, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees in a Pyrex dish or roasting pan for about 30 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through cooking. Grapes and olives should be shriveled and slightly browned.
For roasted garlic: Place cloves in a small sauce pan. Cover with olive oil. Simmer until cloves are golden. Save oil for brushing naan and drizzling over baba ghanoush.