Sometimes it is nice to grill something that isnt a meat, or the main part of the meal. Instead of being the star of the show, Grilled Eggplant Dip was one of the components of a veggie night.
This recipe came from How to Grill by Steven Raichlen. As I have mentioned before, Steven is an expert when it comes to grilling. In the past, however, I havent used his book so much for recipes as for inspiration/grilling instruction. But, with another winner, I may have to rethink this.
Think Baba Ganoush but smokier with the garlic being more mellow from grilled garlic. Fabulous with a crusty whole grain bread you can also serve this with vegetables or pita chips. We had it as a part of a vegetarian dinner, but it would also be great as a starter to an equally fabulous grilled meal.
Grilled Eggplant Dip (Steven Raichlen)
2 Cylindrical Eggplants (about 1 pound each)
6 cloves Garlic, cut lenghtwise into 3 or 4 lengthwise wedges
3 tablespoons Almond Butter
1 1/2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons fresh Lemon juice, or more to taste, plus lemon wedges for serving
1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt (Kosher or Sea), or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, or more to taste
Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.
Make slits in each eggplant and insert the garlic wedges.
When ready to cook, place eggplants on the hot grate and grill until the skins are charred all over and the flesh is very soft 20 to 30 minutes in all, turning with tongs. Transfer the grilled eggplants to a plate to cool.
Peel the burnt skin off the eggplants. Coarsely puree the grilled eggplants and their garlic in a food processor.
Add the almond butter, olive oil, and the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste for seasoning, adding salt or lemon juice as necessary; the mixture should be very flavorful.