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ingredients

  • 2 extra large Eggplant ( 1.5 to 1.75 lbs each)
  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced (use a garlic press)
  • 4 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons plain full fat yogurt (optional but delicious)
  • Garnish: olive oil zaatar spice fresh herbs like parsley toasted pita bread.

instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium high ( see notes for roasting)
  2. Make a foil packet with wood chips for smoking. Wrap ½ cup of wood chips ( mesquite alder apple) in heavy duty foil and pierce the top creating an opening in the foil so smoke can escape. Place this on the grill. See photos.
  3. With a sharp pairing knife cut 1-2 inch deep slits into the eggplant all over especially around the bigger bottom area. This will allow them to cook more evenly and help smoke penetrate the eggplant
  4. When the foil packet is smoking place the eggplant directly on the grill and close the grill. Turn eggplant every 10 minutes or so and let the skin char. Cook until eggplant has collapsed and feels tender on the inside. Place the eggplant along with the smoking foil packet in a large bowl or large pan and cover tightly with foil. Let sit until cool enough to handle about 20- 30 minutes.
  5. Save the smoky liquid that is under the eggplant in the bowl. Peel the charred skin off the eggplant and using a knife chop up the tender flesh. Place the eggplant in a strainer and strain the eggplant flesh for 10 minutes. (I know this may seem counter intuitive since you will be adding some of the “smoky” liquid back in.)
  6. Place the drained eggplant in a mixing bowl. You should have 2 cups (or 2 1/4 cups) of eggplant flesh. If you have less see notes. Add the tahini paste garlic lemon salt yogurt and 1 tablespoon of the smoky liquid reserved from the bowl. Mix taste adjust salt and lemon. For a delicious richness add 2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt ( optional). Stir with a fork until relatively smooth.
  7. Place in a shallow serving bowl make a circular well with the back of a spoon and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with your choice of aleppo chili flakes zaatar spice or sumac. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serve with warm pita bread and/or veggies.

notesYou can also roasted the eggplant in a 425 F- 450F oven. Slice in half lengthwise roast flesh side down on a parchment lined sheet pan until very tender about 60 minutes. Test by piercing skin with a fork and continue roasting until flesh is very tender. Scoop out flesh drain for 10 minutes. mash with a fork and add the remaining ingredients. To achieve the smoky flavor add a ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke. (Not traditional but does elevate this and works in a pinch. Adjust salt and lemon.This article and recipe adapted from this site

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