I’m no farmer and I don’t know anything about the seasonality of produce. Visiting most American grocery stores, the average shopper would have no idea when various fruits and veggies were in season, because stores sell pretty much everything, all year round. And while it can be nice to have fresh avocados in winter and apples in spring, there’s really nothing as good as in-season local produce, picked by farmers and eaten by me on the very same day! On Saturday morning at the farmers market, I saw more eggplants in more different varieties than I even knew existed, so my keen non-farmer Spidey Sense tells me it must be eggplant season in the midwest. I picked up a nice big one and made this classic Middle Eastern roasted eggplant spread. Go get your own before the season passes!
1 large eggplant
4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
2 tsp lemon juice
fresh parsley, chopped
1/8 tsp hot paprika, plus more for dusting
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Pierce eggplant 8 times. Place on hot grill or directly on gas stove over medium high flame. Turn so that each side chars evenly.
When the skin is charred, remove from heat.
Stuff garlic cloves into the slits in the eggplant.
Roast on baking sheet for about 20 minutes, until eggplant is completely softened. Set aside to cool.
While eggplant cools, combine all other ingredients in a bowl.
When the eggplant has cooled enough to touch, cut off the stem and peel off as much of the skin as you can.
Cut into three pieces and add to a food processor along with all other ingredients.
Spoon into a bowl and dust with more paprika. I forgot to do it for the photo, but an extra drizzle of olive oil isn’t a bad idea either.