Baba Ghanoush is fine, but with all that tahini, it sometimes feels a bit heavy. So today I set out to create a spread that was light and fresh, using herbs from my garden. Grilling eggplant and cherry tomatoes gives this a lovely smoky flavor, while the yogurt adds a subtle tang. You can certainly vary the herbs here based on what's available, but I think parsley and basil are essential.
This is wonderful served on garlic crostini. Simply slice a baguette, brush with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Rub each slice with a halved garlic clove while still hot.
2 medium eggplants
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 T. + 1 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 t. salt
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice or red wine vinegar
2 t. chopped fresh thyme
2 t. chopped fresh marjoram
2 t. chopped fresh oregano
2 T. chopped flat leaf parsely
2 T. chopped fresh basil, plus additional leaves for garnish
Light a fire in your grill. Toss the cherry tomatoes with a teaspoon of olive oil and grill in a grill basket over hot coals until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Set aside. At the same time, grill the whole eggplant until collapsed and blackened, about 20 minutes. Set the eggplant on a plate to cool. Discard any liquid on the plate, then scoop out flesh and place in a food processor. Add half the cherry tomatoes, garlic, oil, yogurt, salt and lemon juice or vinegar. Process briefly, leaving a bit of texture. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Remove to a bowl and stir in fresh herbs. Spread on bread or crostini, and garnish with the remaining cherry tomatoe, chopped, along with fresh basil leaves.
Serves 12 or more as an appetizer.
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