April 02, 2019

Smoky Eggplant Zucchini Dip



2 medium eggplants
2 small zucchini
1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup tahini
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt
freshly ground black pepper
healthy pinch ground chipotle



Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.
Place each eggplant on a gas burner and grill, turning occasionally until the skin is well blistered. Allow to cool. Cut off the stem and halve lengthwise. Line a baking sheet with parchment and roast, cut side down until the flesh is tender, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

While the eggplant is cooling. Broil the zucchini on a broiler pan in the oven, turning occasionally, until the skin blisters and the flesh is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Scoop out the insides of the eggplant and zucchini and discard the skins. Drain the liquid through a colander into a bowl. Discard the liquid. Chop the pulp until fairly smooth but with still a few chunks.


Place in a medium bowl, stir in the parsley. Set aside.


In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices until smooth. Pour over the vegetables. Stir until well combined. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.


My thoughts:
I love smokey eggplant dips like Mutabal and Baba Ghanoush. The local Persian place we frequent has a signature eggplant dip that is sort of a mashup of the two that I adore. I frequently order that and a side of loobia polo as my main dish. It is so good! When I was reading a ton of cookbooks recently as a judge for a contest, I came across a recipe for a riff on baba ghanoush made with zucchini instead of eggplant. I loved the idea and was going to make it but then I remembered I really love eggplant. How could I forsake it entirely? Plus I hate following recipes. I'm actually really bad at it. I can and will do it (well!) but it really goes against my nature. So I decided to riff on the riff and make a smoky, roasted eggplant and zucchini dip.

The directions are a bit finicky. I'm sorry. But roasting eggplant skin on the burner yields, in my opinion, better, tastier results than broiling but unless you are using Japanese or "baby" eggplants (which have become maddeningly difficult to find lately) it won't cook the eggplant through before it catches on fire. (ask me how I know) So, roast it on the burner then bake it until it softens. Conversely, zucchini skin is thinner and less tough so I don't like roasting it on the burner and instead, broil and unless they are truly massive, in which case they aren't very tasty and have giant seeds anyway, they cook all the way through in like 20 minutes. I waited for it all to cool and then chopped it all together. You could use a food processor but that requires a lot of cleaning and the pulp is so soft, it chops easily.

The results are amazing and well worth the effort! I loved the smoky flavor and it was very creamy. It was even good three days after I made it. I can't wait to make it again.

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