This milder cousin of baba ghanoush has no tahini so you can fully taste the roasted eggplant. Be generous with the parsley; its fresh green taste pumps up the dip.—Tori Ritchie
For the dip
1 one-pound Italian eggplant
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 or 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 or 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the pita crisps
Three 6-inch pita breads
Olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Make the dip
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Place the whole eggplant in a baking dish just large enough to hold it and pierce the eggplant 2 or 3 times with the tip of a knife. Place the garlic cloves on a small square of foil and splash them with a bit of oil; enclose the garlic in foil. Put the foil packet in the dish along side the eggplant and place them in the oven.
3. Bake until the garlic is soft when squeezed (open the packet to test), about 35 minutes. Remove the garlic and let it cool in the foil. Continue to bake the eggplant until it is wrinkled, soft, and almost collapsed, about 25 minutes more. Let it cool in the pan and leave the oven on.
4. Cut the stem off the cooled eggplant and pull off and discard the skin. Chop the flesh and set it aside. Peel the garlic cloves and put them in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the parsley and pulse until it is finely chopped. Add the chopped eggplant, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil; pulse until just combined (do not purée). Taste the dip and add salt and more lemon juice and/or oil as needed. Pulse again until the mixture is almost smooth; it should have the texture of guacamole. (If made ahead, transfer the dip to a bowl and wrap it with plastic, pressing the wrap right onto the surface. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
Make the pita crisps
1. Cut the pitas in half and peel them apart to make quarters. Arrange the quarters on a work surface and brush them well with oil. Stir together the salt, paprika, and cayenne in a small ramekin or bowl and sprinkle them over the pita quarters.
2. Stack and cut the pita into wedges (you should get 3 wedges per quarter, or 36 total).
3. Spread the wedges on baking sheets and bake them until crisp and golden about 12 minutes. (Crisps can be cooled and stored airtight for up to 2 days.)
4. Serve the dip in a bowl surrounded with the pita crisps.
Recipe © 2004 Torie Ritchie. All rights reserved.