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Even people who think they don't like eggplant often love to dip warm pita bread into this simple purée of roasted eggplant, garlic, and tahini. Use the most tender, fresh eggplants you can find. When serving this to the guests at Tassajara, we like to garnish it with a little chopped parsley or cilantro.
2 large eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds)
6 to 8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tahini
Juice of 2 or 3 lemons
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Before putting the eggplants in the oven, make some holes with a fork or slashes with a knife on all sides, just enough to let the steam out of the skin as it cooks. Roast the eggplants at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes until the flesh is perfectly soft and the skin is getting loose. Cool for 10 to 20 minutes, or just enough so you can handle it comfortably. Peel the eggplant and purée or mash it together with the garlic and tahini. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Add a little extra virgin olive oil, if desired.