2 med dark-skinned eggplants (pierced with fork to let steam escape)
4 x -5 Cloves garlic, to taste
6 tbs tahini (Arabic sesame paste)
Juice of 4 lemons
2 tbs water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dash of hot red pepper (cayenne) to taste
Chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts, pomegranate seeds (optional for garnish)
* Broil eggplants with skin on, turning frequently, until skin is lightly charred and eggplants are fairly soft. Alternately, slice eggplants in half lengthwise and place on an oiled cookie sheet.
* Broil in oven or bake at 450 until fairly soft. Allow to cool enough to be handled. Remove skin and mash eggplant. If you don’t mind a little grayness in the color, allow a little charred skin in with the pulp; it will add a pleasant smoky flavor. Fit food processor with steel blade. With machine running, drop in garlic cloves. Add tahini, lemon juice, and water; blend until thoroughly combined. Add eggplant, and pulse until coarsely pureed. Add salt and red and black pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours for flavor to develop.
* Adjust seasonings, including tahini if desired. Garnish with parsley, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds as desired. Serve with pita bread or veggies.
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