Cooking with fire and thereby using smoke as an ingredient is the oldest and most primitive way to cook anything. Place the eggplant directly on the coals and let it absorb the smoke’s flavor. The charred skin will peel right off and reveal the soft and supple flesh that only needs a subtle touch of seasoning. Serve it with my Turkish Flatbread or any type of flatbread.
Smoky Eggplant DipCourse: AppetizersDifficulty: Simple
No matter who you are or where you grew up, the whiff of smoke will take you someplace comforting.
1 large eggplant, ca. 1 1/2 pound
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Heat a grill. If you are using charcoal, place the whole eggplant directly on coals. If using gas, place the eggplant as close to the flame as possible. Grill eggplant, turning every 10 minutes until the flesh is very tender and the skin is charred about 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let sit until cool enough to handle.
- Peel away and discard skin and stem, and transfer flesh to a food processor. Add oil, 1 tablespoon parsley, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, and pulse until well combined. If you don’t have a food processor, place the ingredients in a tall bowl and blend with a stick blender.
- Transfer dip to a serving bowl and drizzle with additional oil, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Serve with pita or other flatbread.