Yogurt-Herb-Eggplant Spread Recipe

Step 1

PREHEAT OVER TO 400F. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cut 5-or-6 long slits in the eggplant (fewer if you''re using Japanese eggplants) and place a slice of garlic into each slit.

Step 2

Wrap the eggplant, together with the bay leaf and thyme branches, tightly in foil and bake until completely soft all over--45 minutes-to-1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the eggplant.

Step 3

If you''re using the large eggplant, turn it over after 45 minutes and continue baking until soft to the touch and tender at the stem end.

Step 4

When done, remove eggplant from the oven, open the package and let sit for 5 minutes or so. Discard any liquid. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh away from the skin, put it into a food processor and add the yogurt mixture and the olive oil.

Step 5

Process until smooth, but leave a little texture. Stir in the lemon juice or vinegar to taste and season with salt. Turn the puree into a serving bowl and season with pepper and fresh herbs, such as thyme leaves and blossoms, marjoram or oregano.

If those herbs aren''t available, use some chopped parsley or scallions.

Step 6

Serve the spread at room temperature with crackers, pita bread or bread toasted and brushed with olive oil.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2c Plain yogurt
  • 1 Garlic clove; minced
  • 1ts Finely chopped oregano; -OR-
  • 1/4ts -Dried oregano
  • 1/2ts Chopped thyme leaves; -=OR=-
  • 1pn -Dried Thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper
------------THE EGGPLANT----------------
  • 1/2lb Japanese eggplants; -=OR=-
  • 1md -Firm shiny eggplant
  • 1lg Garlic clove; thinly sliced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Thyme branches, if available
  • 1tb Extra-virgin olive oil
  • - or more to taste
  • Lemon juice
  • -=OR=- Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Coarsely ground pepper
  • Fresh herbs for garnish

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