Eggplant Salad with Red Bell Pepper

1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon tahini
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, sliced, into 1/3 inch strips
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese,optional

Heat the broiler.

Prick the eggplant with a fork in 4 places, and place it under the broiler 2 inches from the heat until the skin buckles, 6 to 9 minutes. Turn it over and continue to broil until the skin buckles on the other side, 5 to 7 minutes more. If any part is still firm and smooth, turn the eggplant again so that the part in question is directly under the broiler and broil until the entire eggplant has buckled, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the eggplant and let it cool.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine the hot eater, tahini, yogurt, cumin, paprika, and cilantro, and stir until smooth. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, cut off the ends, peel, and remove as many of the seeds as possible. Chop the pulp coarsely, and stir into the yogurt mixture. Add the pepper and the feta cheese, if desired, and mix well.

Serve at room temperature, or chill and serve cold.

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