We have a plant in our orto that I call our “Teen Bride”. She keeps having babies, is totally unsupported, and when you pluck a fruit from her, she shudders as if to say, “Thank you!”. Then she stands a little straighter, brazenly sprouting even more fruit.
Meet Teen Bride.
I like eggplant, don’t get me wrong. I just didn’t LOVE eggplant, until recently. Now, we’re addicted. We tried the eggplant parm (I’ve got a great summer recipe.). But this eggplant dip is the cause of our addiction.
Charred Eggplant Dip
1 eggplant (bigger eggplant, more dip…just make what you need because it tastes better warm and fresh)
Extra virgin olive oil (because only a virgin will do)
Lemon juice (fresh, don’t even think about anything else)
Cumin, Smoked Picante Paprika, Sesame Seeds
There are no measurements here. This is cooking by eye and taste. Get used to using your senses; you’ll thank me in the long run.
You’re going to need a blender; a robust one, like a Vita Mix. An average strength blender or food processor will certainly do, but you won’t be able to get the super creamy texture.
1) Char the eggplant. Start by piercing the eggplant with the tip of a knife to make steam holes. (If you follow me on Facebook, then you know I blew up the first eggplant in my oven. It made an incredible stringy, hanging-from-the-walls mess).
Broil the eggplant until the insides are soft and the skin of the eggplant is crackling and brittle. Turn the eggplant once or twice to get an even char. This usually takes 7-10 minutes with a medium size, more narrow eggplant.
2) In a blender, add a good amount of olive oil, starting with a healthy glug. Add a pinch of sea salt, a clove of garlic, and some of the juice from half a lemon. Remember, you can always add more of an ingredient, but it would be a bitch to remove too much salt or lemon juice!
3) While the eggplant is still hot, make a slit from one end to the other and open the eggplant. Using a spoon, scrape the meat from the fruit and add to the blender. Scrape it close to the skin because that’s where the char flavor comes from. Blend until creamy. Now taste. More lemon? More salt? More garlic? If it isn’t feeling really creamy in your mouth, add another glug of olive oil.
Garnish with a sprinkle of cumin, a good amount of picante smoked paprika and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve with some warm flat bread.
No matter how much I make, we lick the bowl clean and fight over the last drops. Honestly, two grown people fighting over eggplant? That’s ridiculous and undignified. It must be love….and addiction. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.