When I pick up my CSA box on Wednesdays I often stop for a chat with the gal who offers her driveway as a pickup point. Her oldest just started kindergarten. My youngest just started college. But we both cook dinner every night, and an endless obsession with new recipes keeps us connected week after week.
She has run into the house to print me a recipe. I have jumped out of the car to tell her about a new use for an herb. We rejoice together over the appearance of new veggies in the box, (arugula and chard this week!), and we commiserate together about the re-appearance of items less loved, (mint – Ur Dad has a fit if I use it!).
The last time we talked, eggplant was the topic of discussion. By mid-September both of us have roasted, fried and baked these beauties into sandwiches, casseroles and all sorts of veggie dishes! So we stood reviewing our successes and discussing our favorites, and then we both kind of shrugged and asked the other, “So what are you going to make with it this week???”
I said I thought I might deliver the whole bundle to College Girl, who has a serious passion for eggplant that far outstrips my own… She said she was toying with the thought of an adult-oriented dip that would stand up to a round of good strong drinks on a Friday night! Oh really…???
Garlic is involved. So is onion. Olive oil, lemon juice and a spoonful of yogurt round it out. She makes her own pita chips… (I buy “homemade” bagel chips from my local bagel store…) Can I just tell you that this is beyond wonderful!!! Many thanks to my veggie-devoted friend! College Girl, c’mon by!!!
2 pounds eggplant
1 small onion, grated
3 large very fresh garlic cloves, grated
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons plain yogurt, optional
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Toasted pita or bagel chips
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil.
Prick the eggplants all over with a fork and set them on the baking sheet. Roast until they are charred and very soft, about 30-40 minutes.
Let them cool slightly. Peel them. (My Italian friends say this is critical!) Coarsely chop and then drain, pressing to release any remaining liquid.
Finely chop the drained eggplant and transfer to a bowl. Add grated onion and grated garlic.
Whisk together the olive oil and the lemon juice. Gradually stir into the eggplant until the desired consistency and taste is achieved. (I used almost all of it!)
Stir in the yogurt, if desired, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with bagel chips. (And a good stiff drink if you’ve got one!)