Poor Man's Caviar (version II)

Eggplant Spread

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1 medium, firm eggplant
1 clove garlic, cracked away from the skin
2 pinches ground allspice
coarse salt and black pepper
1 handful flat-leaf parsley tops
a drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole grain baguette or other long crusty bread, sliced at bread counter

Preheat oven to highest setting, at least 500 degrees F.

Cut 2 or 3 slits into whole eggplant. Place eggplant directly on the oven rack in the middle of the oven and roast the eggplant until it is tender, about 20 minutes. Keep the slits facing up so that the eggplant does not loose liquids as it roasts.
The roasted eggplant will look like a flat tire when you remove it from the oven. Using a sharp utility knife, carefully peel skin away from eggplant flesh. Add cooked eggplant flesh and juice to food processor and combine with garlic, allspice, salt, and pepper and parsley. Pulse grind the eggplant into a paste, add a drizzle of olive oil. Transfer to a serving dish. The seeds of the eggplant will make the spread resemble caviar eggs, and so the name: poor man's caviar.

To serve, surround a bowlful of spread with crusty bread rounds.

Yield: 10 servings

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