Melizzano Lambrino

Eggplant Dip

1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, packed down
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup whole black olives (about 8)

Brush 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 sit to shed some of its excess water.

Put onions, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, basil, oregano and garlic into the bowl of a food processor; process at medium and then at high speed, until ingredients are homogenized. With motor still running, add olive oil through feed tube in a very thin stream until emulsified.

Add deseeded eggplant flesh to the food processor; pulse on and off, just until incorporated. Transfer to a serving bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with black olives.

Notes : This dip is great with toasted pita points or raw vegetables.

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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