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Smoked Eggplant Dip

I served this for the first time as an appetizer during my Passover seder. It got such rave reviews, that I served it again at a meeting. Again, everybody loved it. It is certainly now in my repertoire of "go-to" recipes. Just like the Hummus, for an alternative to pita or chips, try serving with endive and fresh veggies.

2 large eggplants
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon paprika, plus extra for topping
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
fine sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley

baking sheet lined with parchment paper
chef's knife
cutting board
citrus juicer
small bowl
small whisk
liquid measure shot glass
garlic press
dry measuring spoons
colander lined with 2 layers of cheese cloth
medium mixing bowl
rubber spatula

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place the eggplants atop open flames of gas burners, turning with tongs as each side becomes charred.
3. Place charred eggpants on prepared baking sheets. Bake about 20 minutes, until soft.
4. Allow eggplants to cool until ready to handle.
5. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients, except for coarse sea salt and parsley, in a small bowl and set aside.
6. Slice eggplants lengthwise, scoop out the insides and coarsly chop.
7. Mix eggplant with coarse sea salt and place in cheese cloth-lined colander.
8. Let drain for 10 minutes. Press out remaining moisture with the back of a spoon.
7. In a large bowl, mix eggplant with lemon juice mixture.
8. Serve topped with chopped parsley and paprika.

Yields about 2 cups

© 2009 by Allison Lattman

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