Melizzano Despina

Eggplant Dip

1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Brush the eggplant lightly with vegetable oil. Using a fork, pierce the skin lightly at 1-inch intervals. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until eggplant is very soft and the skin is dark brown and caved in.

Transfer eggplant to a working surface. Cut off 1 inch at the stem end and discard (this part never quite cooks through). Peel the eggplant by picking at an edge from the cut end, then pulling upward. The skin should come off easily in strips.

Cut the eggplant lengthwise and place each half with the interior facing you. With a spoon scoop out the tongues of seed-pods, leaving as much of the flesh as possible. To remove the additional seed-pods hiding inside, cut each piece of eggplant in half and repeat the deseeding procedure. Once deseeded, let cleaned eggplant flesh sit to shed some of its excess water.

Transfer drained eggplant flesh to a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mash and then whip the pulp until smooth and very soft. Coarsely grate onion directly into the eggplant (the onion juice that results is very important to this dip). Add lemon juice and whip with a wooden spoon until perfectly integrated. Keep beating and add olive oil in a very thin stream; the result should be a frothy, light colored emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped parsley.

Notes : This dip can be served immediately or it can wait, covered and unrefrigerated, for up to 2 hours. If refrigerated, let it come back to room temperature and give it a couple of stirs before serving.



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