Eggplant Puree with Garlic and Coriander

2 medium eggplants ( 2 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper
Italian parsley sprigs, for garnish

Prick eggplants a few times with a fork. Grill above medium-hot coals about 1 hour; broil it about 40 minutes, turning often; or bake at 400 F about 1 hour. When done, the flesh should be tender and eggplant should look collapsed. Remove eggplant peel and cut off stem. Drain off any liquid from inside eggplant. Chop flesh fine with knife.

Heat oil in a heavy, large skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in coriander and cumin. Add eggplant and mix well. Cook over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes to thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Puree an be kept, covered, 2 days in refrigerator.) Serve hot or cold, garnished with parsley.

Makes 4 appetizer servings

From Faye Levy’s wonderful book International Vegetable Cookbook

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