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Hello, and Happy Fall! This is Steph from Steph in Thyme, and today I’m sharing a healthy, yet still super delicious, approach to Game-Day snacking. This Smoky Eggplant Dip is hearty and rich in flavor, perfect for the change in seasons and when the munchies strike watching weekend football.
Another name for this dip is Baba Ganoush, a traditional Levantine dish. The base is eggplant baked, boiled, or grilled whole so the inside “meat” is soft with a deep smoky flavor.
I prefer to grill the eggplant, first pricking it all over with a fork. Set both eggplant on the grill, close the lid, and let them cook for about 30-40 minutes, rotating with tongs occasionally. You want the eggplant to blacken and collapse, like it’s about to fall apart. Once completely collapsed, open up the eggplant and scoop out the soft and tender meaty innards.
No grill? No problem. You can cook the eggplant under the broiler instead, rotating occasionally with tongs until they look like this below.
Tahini (aka sesame paste), lots of lemon juice, even more garlic, and salt and pepper finish off the dip. The result is an appetizer with a very hearty texture and rich, deep flavors.
The dip tastes best after it chills for several hours, the flavors melding and opening up to a whole new level.
Garnish the dip with chopped fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil and serve with warm pita triangles, fresh veggies, or hearty crackers. It goes quickly, so you may want to make a double batch!
Game-Day Smoky Eggplant Dip
- 2 medium eggplant 4 lbs total
- 1/4 cup tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- drizzle olive oil as garnish
- Rinse both eggplant and pat dry. Prick each eggplant all over with a fork.
- Pre-heat grill over medium-high heat. Place the eggplant whole on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 30-40 minutes, rotating occasionally with tongs to eggplant cooks evenly, or until eggplant are blackened and collapsed.
- Remove eggplant from grill and let sit for 15-20 minutes until cool enough to handle.
- With your fingers, open the eggplant and scoop all the soft insides into a bowl. Mash the cooked eggplant "meat" with a fork until mashed and no large chunks remain.
- Add the tahini, crushed garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to the eggplant and stir until well combined. Make sure to season well with salt, adjusting amount to taste.
- Cover the dip and chill for several hours to let the flavors come together and open up. Adjust seasoning as needed after it chills, i.e. add more lemon, tahini, salt and pepper. Some like this dip more lemony, some with more tahini (me!) Adjust to your particular taste.
- To serve, scoop the dip into a serving dish. Sprinkle topped parsley over top and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Serve with warm pita bread, fresh veggies, or hearty crackers.
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