Awesome aubergines

Or eggplant by another name. Delish.

I met another wildly enthusiastic gardener last weekend. (Oh yeah, like there is any other kind). Heather moved here from Scottsdale Arizona about a year and a half ago and has proceeded to re-invent and re-work a one and a third acre plot just down the road from me. And work it she has. I had the great good fortune to take an armload of eggplants off her hands. She had been fast and furiously bringing in the vegetable harvest before it all turned to mush. Oh, please, I said, let me help you get rid of those lovely, shiny, firm and delishous eggplants. Please. She obliged.

Today dear reader, I share with you the bounty. Or, more like, what I am doing with the bounty. Credit Mark Bittman for his fabu recipe book, How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food Macmillan Publishing. Page 23 to be exact. Awesome cookbook. I give this book, paperback format, as a shower present or ‘first apartment’ present for aspiring new cooks.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Makes at least 6 servings

2 medium or 4 small eggplant, about 1 pound I used about 8, from baseball size to just a little larger
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. minced garlic, or to taste
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

We poked holes in the eggplants with a knife. Then, put them on a hot gas barby, turning frequently, until charred and collapsed. It took about 15-20 minutes. Then let them cool.

When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and mince it finely. I think I read somewhere else, like in Rachel Ray’s new magazine, that you can put the cooked eggplants in a ziploc bag, cut off the corner, then sqeeze them out of their skins………….less mess. Mix in the lemon juice, oil, garlic, cheese, s&p, then garnish and serve with crispy crackers or bread. Divine.