Mediterranean Eggplant Dip

We planted five Japanese eggplant starts in the grow boxes this year. Two were the long Ichiban variety and three were a new variety called Kamo. The Kamo are candy sweet with a custardy creamy texture that I haven’t experienced before in any of our homegrown varieties. We will be planting more Kamo’s next year! We have picked close to 50 eggplant in the last three weeks, which gave us plenty to make this creamy Mediterranean eggplant dip. It is my own recipe. It does not contain tahini, just garlic, lemon, olive oil and herbs. Sometimes I will add fresh tomatoes to it, but since I wanted to freeze some of this batch I left them out to avoid a more watery consistency and added breadcrumbs to help keep it firm. You can roast the eggplant a day or two in advance. If freezing, place in one-cup containers and top with olive oil to cover the dip.

Mediterranean Eggplant Dip
3-4 medium eggplant – roasted to give you 2 c. packed, peeled eggplant strips
1/2 c. packed flat-leaf Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. toasted fresh breadcrumbs
2 tsp. zatar (or use thyme and oregano)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Begin by oven roasting the eggplant. For this I leave the skin on and slice 1/4 inch thick. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until fork tender. Then peel eggplant and purée with the other ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve with fresh pita bread or toasted pita chips. Makes 2 cups.

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