The eggplant and chilies in this Middle-Eastern spread can be roasted in the oven, or grilled outside.
- 2 Eggplants (About 2 Pounds)
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 2 Tbsp. Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)
- 2 Tbsp. Plain Whole-Milk or Greek Yogurt
- 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1-2 tsp. Aleppo Chile, Crushed
- 1-2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Unflavored
- Sea Salt, Coarse
- Black Pepper, Coarse Ground
- Fresh Parsley, Minced, for Garnish
- Turn on oven to broiler setting, or prepare grill for use at medium-high heat. Poke each eggplant 5-6 times with a fork. Put eggplants in a foil-lined roasting pan, or on the grill. Broil or grill, turning the eggplants a couple times, until the eggplants are very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Cut off the stem-ends of the eggplants, and then halve the eggplants lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp from inside the skin of the eggplant, and transfer to a colander. Let any residual liquid drain out, about 5 min. Coarsely chop the drained eggplant pulp; this should yield about 2 cups.
- Transfer eggplant pulp to a bowl, and mix in the minced garlic.
- In another bowl, combine tahini, yogurt, and lemon juice to make a smooth paste. Add this mixture to eggplant and garlic mixture; add salt, pepper, and Aleppo chile to taste. If spread is too chunky for your taste, blend in a food processor or blender briefly, adding olive oil as needed, until desired consistency is achieved.
- Drizzle top of spread with olive oil and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Garnish with minced fresh parsley. Serve with pita or other flatbread, or with raw or lightly steamed vegetables. Also makes a great spread for bagels.
- May optionally substitute Paprika, Hungarian Hot or Paprika, Smoked Sweet for the Aleppo Pepper
- For extra zing, you can also add roasted, diced hot peppers such as poblano or jalapeno.
- To keep the recipe dairy-free/vegan, use more tahini and/or olive oil in place of the yogurt.
- Can be made up to several days ahead.
Have you made this recipe? Share your experience with us in the comments below.