Creamy Eggplant Dip

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There are dozens of recipes for this creamy eggplant spread throughout Greece. Some call for roasting the eggplants on an open flame, which imparts a strong, smoky flavor; others require that the eggplants be baked to soften. Some combine eggplants with little else but olive oil and vinegar, or yogurt, or walnuts. This recipe calls for the unusual duo of pureed eggplants and tahini.

2 large eggplants (about 3/4 pound each)
1/4 cup Krinos Tahini (sesame paste)
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon
Salt, to taste
1/4-1/3 cup Krinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Puncture them all over with the tines of a fork and place on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven. Roast for about 45 minutes, turning several times, until the eggplants are soft and charred on the outside. Remove immediately.

Just before the eggplants come out of the oven, whip together the tahini and 1/4 cup of water, to help dilute the thick sesame paste. Pulse it together with the garlic and half the lemon juice in a food processor. 

Remove the eggplants. Using a sharp knife, slit them lengthwise down the middle and scrape out the pulp, discarding as many of the seeds as possible. Place in the food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine with the tahini and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning with salt. Drizzle in the olive oil and additional lemon juice if desired, and pulse on and off for a few seconds until all the ingredients are combined and the eggplants are creamy. Remove to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, chill for one hour and serve, garnished with a kalamata olive. 

Yield: 4-6 servings