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Babaganoush

 


1 large eggplant (about 1½ pounds)
3 Tablespoons Feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 large plum tomatoes, finely diced
8 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450° F. Prick the eggplant all over with the tines of a fork — don't forget to do this, or it may burst. Place the eggplant in a small baking dish lined with aluminum foil and roast until it is very soft, about 45 minutes. (This high-temperature roasting gives the eggplant a wonderful smoky taste.)

As soon as the eggplant is cool enough to handle, cut it lengthwise in half and scoop the eggplant into a bowl; discard the skin. Mash the eggplant coarsely with a fork.

While the eggplant is still warm, add the Feta cheese and stir to mix lightly. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, olives, garlic, parsley, mint, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix again lightly. Serve at room temperature.


Note: Look for a firm, shiny eggplant with an elongated, rather than round, mark on the bottom end. It is reputed to be male and to contain fewer seeds.


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